World Cup trophy in sight for Steve Borthwick after latest England discovery
One thing England have lacked recently is a long range kicker. Ok, one of many, many things. Nevertheless, it has proven to be costly at times.
Owen Farrell is not a long range kicker. He was barely a short range kicker during the Six Nations either, but anything over 40 metres is out of range for the England captain.
Elliot Daly has long been England’s kicker from far out, but he was injured during the Six Nations and overlooked during the autumn campaign, and as a result England might have missed out on some valuable points.
What Steve Borthwick needs is a consistent starter also having a canon of a boot, and that is where fullback Freddie Steward steps up. The No15 is almost guaranteed to start for England these days, and while he has not kicked for England to date, footage emerged recently of the 22-year-old taking 50 metre kicks in training.
Daly would likely remain England’s long range kicker when starting, but when the Saracen is not on the field, Steward has shown that he is more than able to step up after adding that string to his bow.
Had England had a long range kicker, some of their results over the last year could have been completely different. Instead of being humiliated 53-10 to France at Twickenham in the Six Nations, England could have lost 53-16. Likewise, the 27-13 home defeat to the Springboks, which resulted in Eddie Jones being sacked, could have even seen England reach over 20 points had a long range specialist been in the team.
Solving this kicking conundrum could be the last problem for Borthwick to solve in his pursuit of the Webb Ellis Cup. Of course, that is providing he has already solved the other 15,000 problems that England have had over the last year.
Take a look at Steward kicking:
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