Six Nations success not imperative for England despite World Cup year - Robshaw

By Sports Desk February 01, 2023

A good Six Nations run is not imperative for England and Steve Borthwick, with Chris Robshaw suggesting it will have no bearing on their World Cup fortunes.

Former Leicester boss Borthwick will take charge of the national team for the first time since succeeding Eddie Jones in this weekend's opener with Scotland.

It marks the start of a five-match run that will serve as England's only competitive preparation ahead of September's showpiece tournament in France.

But former captain Robshaw does not feel the team need to ace their Six Nations campaign in order to bolster their prospects later this year.

"It is important, but it is not the be all and end all," Robshaw told Stats Perform. "The World Cup is a separate tournament.

"Of course you want to win, and you want to play well now, but you've still got another four or five months before that.

"I think when South Africa won it back in 2007, they were pretty awful in their build-up.

"You want to be confident going in, but it's not everything."

England head into the Six Nations as underdogs, with France and Ireland the leading favourites to take the title in March.

Robshaw feels there is still a successful campaign to be had, however, pointing to the growth and experience they will develop alongside Borthwick.

"They need to hit the ground running against Scotland," he added. "First and foremost, they need to do that.

"From an output point of view, if they could win [against] Scotland and Italy, and then nick one of the Ireland or France games, I think that will be viewed as a very successful campaign.

"This is a growing squad. It is a new group, but I think it's a great combination of a team [with] huge excitement, experience and a well-balanced coaching staff."

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