Leaked England camp video shows how Borthwick is dealing with Farrell problem
England head coach Steve Borthwick has a problem on his hands this week in how he deals with captain Owen Farrell in his squad.
The flyhalf is likely to receive a ban later today for his high tackle on Taine Basham at the weekend, but the severity of the ban will be pivotal. A long ban will obviously mean Farrell will drop out of the World Cup squad entirely, with a replacement being called up. A medium length ban, meaning Farrell would return for the latter stages of the World Cup, will pose more problems though.
Should Borthwick select a player if they cannot take part in the entire tournament? There are some that are saying no. Then again, this is England’s captain.
A video has emerged of the England team training this week at Pennyhill Park ahead of a trip to face Ireland at the weekend, and it gives a clear insight into what Borthwick is thinking.
There were plenty of players training that were omitted from England’s World Cup squad last week. Jonny May and Guy Porter were the two in the back line and Tom Pearson and Jonny Hill were the two from the pack. Alex Mitchell was also there but he has officially been called up to replace the injured Jack van Poortvliet.
This contingent of players are there to cover those that have slight injuries- David Ribbans, Tom Curry and Manu Tuilagi. What is interesting is that there is no flyhalf cover for Farrell.
It is highly likely that Farrell is going to be banned for the match at the Aviva Stadium this weekend, but with Marcus Smith and George Ford already in the squad, Borthwick might well feel that that is enough cover.
That could mean that the flyhalf’s back up is actually centre Porter, which does bolster England’s midfield which looked slightly threadbare with Henry Slade not selected. Alternatively, England might well be holding back on calling a replacement up until there is a concrete verdict on how long Farrell will be banned for.
Though Borthwick has named his England squad for the World Cup, those squads do not need to be officially submitted for another two weeks, meaning there could be some surprise changes given the faces seen at training.
Take a look at the video: