English Rugby
Borthwick vows to fight for England place
July 7, 2010
England manager Martin Johnson after the New Zealand loss, England v New Zealand, Twickenham, England, November 21, 2009
Borthwick was dropped from England manager Martin Johnson's latest elite squad © Getty Images

Saracens lock Steve Borthwick is determined to regain his England place after being dropped from Martin Johnson's Elite Player Squad for the forthcoming season.

Borthwick, who captained his country in 20 out of their last 23 Tests, was the biggest casualty when Johnson confirmed his latest selection last week. The 30-year-old paid the price after the likes of Tom Palmer, Courtney Lawes and Dave Attwood impressed on the recent tour of Australia and New Zealand, which Borthwick missed as he was allowed to rest following a knee injury.

Borthwick's spell as captain co-incided with several turgid England displays and he bore the brunt of criticism from the public and media, but he is determined to work his way back into Johnson's plans ahead of next year's World Cup in New Zealand.

"You always plan for a positive result and not to be selected was bitterly disappointing," he told The Times. "I reckon I was playing pretty well during the Six Nations and I would certainly have backed myself but I wasn't on the tour.

"I won't dwell on the negative side. The team is more important than I am, but I desperately want to be part of the success of the England team - that's all I ever wanted."

The 57-times capped forward, who was on honeymoon when he was told of his demotion to the Saxons squad, acknowledged that the second rows on tour had made an impact, but feels he was deserving of a place in Johnson's squad.

"The guys played well and when you have an opportunity as a player that's what you must do, take it," he continued. "But I believe I did the job asked of me over the last number of internationals. I'll get myself into the best possible condition to come back."

© Scrum.com

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