Steve Borthwick backs ‘magnificent’ Anthony Watson to deliver for England on Six Nations return

Steve Borthwick backs ‘magnificent’ Anthony Watson to deliver for England on Six Nations return

Anthony Watson can relaunch his Test career in Cardiff on Saturday amid a glowing endorsement from England boss Steve Borthwick.

Lions wing Watson has beaten a leg injury to make his first England start in 23 months at the Principality Stadium this weekend.

The 28-year-old has endured an injury-ravaged two years, but has finally shaken off a string of setbacks, leaving head coach Borthwick thrilled to welcome back a finisher of true pace and quality.

Watson has replaced the injured Ollie Hassell-Collins for England’s sole starting XV change from the 31-14 Six Nations win over Italy.

“I was fortunate to be part of the coaching team here a few years ago when Anthony was playing so well,” said Borthwick.

“He continued in the England team and then had a couple of setbacks. Then I signed him in club rugby and from the day we walked in he was magnificent.

“His professionalism, the way he prepared himself, the way he helped the younger players, how much he cares as a professional. He cares deeply about this team and about playing for England.

“He adds to the mix in those outside backs where we are starting to build competition for places and depth.

“Then we have the ability to change tactically because you see what we have on the bench in the back with that ability to come on and change the game, so we can play a different way.

“I’m asking the players to do things a bit differently. I’m asking them to train a bit differently, prepare a bit differently, conduct themselves differently. Anthony along with all the players has embraced that.

“We’re trying to build a team and these players have really grabbed hold of it and are driving it forward.”