England complete stage one of Steve Borthwick's genius World Cup winning plan
By Rugby Onslaught

England complete stage one of Steve Borthwick’s genius World Cup winning plan

Most England fans would have watched Steve Borthwick’s side limp to the most uninspiring 20-9 loss to Wales at the Principality Stadium on Saturday and written off England’s chances at the World Cup instantly. After all, that is what the rest of the world did a long time ago. But that is exactly what he wants.

On the surface it looked like one of the most abject and boring performances from England in a long time- and that is for a team that classify a pick and go try as ‘expansive rugby’. But that is just a ruse to lure the world into a false sense of security.

When you look at the match and the stats, the plan becomes very, very obvious really. No team that have been training together for over a month could muster a staggering 16 handling errors- almost ten times more than Wales. Only a team that are in the midst a cunning World Cup winning plan could tackle so poorly, attack so bluntly and have such an appalling lineout and scrum. It is so obvious when you think about it.

Now Argentina and Japan, and even Samoa and Chile, will be licking their lips at the thought of playing England. That is stage one complete. Borthwick has perfectly lured them into a false sense of security with that performance, and that is exactly what he wanted. He would have told them to play that appallingly, and it will only be once they arrive at the World Cup that he will tell his players to catch the ball and tackle properly. Then the rest of the world must watch out.

England XV 
15. Freddie Steward, 14. Max Malins, 13. Joe Marchant, 12. Guy Porter, 11. Joe Cokanasiga, 10. Marcus Smith, 9. Danny Care, 1. Ellis Genge (C), 2. Jamie Blamire, 3. Will Stuart, 4. David Ribbans, 5. George Martin, 6. Lewis Ludlam, 7. Tom Pearson, 8. Alex Dombrandt

16. Theo Dan, 17. Bevan Rodd, 18. Kyle Sinckler, 19. Jonny Hill, 20. Tom Willis, 21. Jack van Poortvliet, 22. George Ford, 23. Henry Slade.

Wales XV
15. Leigh Halfpenny, 14. Louis Rees-Zammit, 13. George North, 12. Max Llewellyn, 11. Rio Dyer, 10. Sam Costelow, 9. Gareth Davies, 1. Corey Domachowski, 2. Ryan Elias, 3. Kieron Assiratti, 4. Dafydd Jenkins, 5. Will Rowlands, 6. Christ Tshiunza, 7. Jac Morgan, 8. Aaron Wainwright

16. Elliot Dee, 17. Nicky Smith, 18. Henry Thomas, 19. Ben Carter, 20. Taine Plumtree, 21. Tomos Williams, 22. Dan Biggar, 23. Mason Grady