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England head coach Eddie Jones gives Steve Borthwick the Lions green light

Published 19/11/2016

George Ford helped England to a 58-15 win over Fiji.
George Ford helped England to a 58-15 win over Fiji.

Steve Borthwick has been cleared to join the British and Irish Lions coaching team and will travel to New Zealand with instructions from Eddie Jones to begin plotting England's route to victory over the world champions.

The Grand Slam champions extended their triumphant run to 12 Tests after routing Fiji 58-15 in the second of the autumn's four internationals at Twickenham, amassing nine tries against the outgunned Islanders.

Borthwick is reported to have been offered a position on Warren Gatland's coaching team for next summer's Lions tour to New Zealand, reprising the forwards tracksuit role he currently performs for the Red Rose.

Any such appointment would receive the blessing of Jones, who sees an opportunity to seize an early advantage ahead of England's next scheduled meeting against New Zealand in 2018.

"I'm happy for all of my coaching team except me to be involved in the Lions tour," Jones said.

"If they are offered a job I will encourage them to take the job and get down there and work out how to beat New Zealand because that is one of our aims. They can help us and the Lions.

"What a great opportunity to spend six weeks in New Zealand on the Lions tour. Ten weeks of hearing 'bro' seven million times and getting to understand everything about New Zealand rugby.

"Ultimately, if New Zealand are number one when we play them they will be the side to beat, but we are not sure they are going to be number one."

Jonathan Joseph, Semesa Rokoduguni and Joe Launchbury each scored two tries as England ran amok against a Fiji side packed with European-based players and with less than half an hour on the clock England had surged 34-0 ahead.

The victory - the 11th of Jones' reign - was not without its flaws, however, as three soft tries were leaked either side of half time.

"To score 58 points against Fiji is outstanding because they are a fair team, so I'm really happy with aspects of our game," Jones said.

"We dropped off at certain times but it's always difficult when you get a big lead to maintain that intensity. But that is the next step of a team going forward - that is what we want to achieve.

"If we want greatness in our team we have to maintain that intensity after racing into an early lead.

"There were some great individual performances but there are obviously areas we have to improve on against Argentina which is going to be a tricky game.

"We played really good English rugby. Some of George Ford's alignment on some of the phase ball was absolutely outstanding, the best I have seen for a long time.

"We are not going to play the perfect game - everyone wants to play the perfect game, when you play the perfect game you can retire. We haven't done that.

"They have got points in them Fiji, they have got people who can do things you can't coach. Leone Nakarawa is the LeBron James of rugby - he can do anything.

"We would like to be better in defence. We are working hard at that and it will come. It will come next week against Argentina."

Fiji coach John McKee was impressed by England's performance, but the Kiwi refused to be drawn on whether he believes they are good enough to dethrone New Zealand.

"England were very good in attack, very clinical. They ran hard. We allowed them too much space and that got them out on the front foot," McKee said.

"England showed what a quality side they are and they'll cause problems for a lot of teams I think.

"It's hard to tell if they could beat New Zealand. It's a long time before they play so irrelevant for the moment. For the rest of November they will give their opposition a hard time."

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