Full name Stephen William Borthwick
Born October 12, 1979, Carlisle
Current age 34 years 292 days
Major teams Bath Rugby, Saracens, England
Height 6 ft 6 in
Weight 244 lb
|IRB Rugby World Cup||2007-2007||3||1||2||0||0||0||0||0||2||1||0||66.66|
|Test debut||England v France at Twickenham, Apr 7, 2001 match details|
|Last Test||Scotland v England at Murrayfield, Mar 13, 2010 match details|
|Test Statsguru||Main menu | Career summary | Match list | Most points | Most tries | Tournament list|
Steve Borthwick has taken a roundabout route to the England captaincy, falling in and out of favour with selectors over his years in the England setup and slowly building a reputation as a dogged and intelligent second row.
His first cap came in 2001 against France, having already become a firm favourite as England A captain. Borthwick's commitment has led to him resurrecting an international career that has at times threatened to peter out prematurely.
He was part of the provisional squad for the World Cup in 2003, playing in the summer tour win over Australia in Melbourne and warm up games with France and Wales, but missed out on selection for the final party.
With the disappointment of missing English rugby's finest hour behind him, Borthwick continued to rack up the appearances for Bath, whom he had joined in 1998. His leadership skills on the field were becoming more tightly honed year on year at the Rec, and he was installed as club captain for the 2005-06 season.
Borthwick continued to stay on the periphery of the England side, with fierce competition between himself, Simon Shaw and Ben Kay limiting his opportunities. He fought his way into the 2004 and 2005 Autumn Internationals squad, playing in every test of both series before repeating the feat in the 2006 Six Nations.
With momentum behind him, Borthwick found his ascent to the position of automatic starter ended by injury. He was forced to miss the summer tour to Australia in 2006 and also that season's Autumn International program.
His injury layoff proved to be costly, as he was not selected for the 2007 Six Nations squad. While he had missed out on international recognition, Borthwick continued his excellent work with Bath in leading them to the European Challenge Cup final, although they could not overcome Clermont Auvergne.
Selection for the 2007 World Cup was secured by his excellent form with Bath, although at the finals he found his involvement limited to appearances during the group stages against South Africa, Samoa and Tonga.
Borthwick's fortunes would change again following the World Cup, as he was one of only two players to feature in every minute of the 2008 Six Nations. He was also rewarded for excellent form with the captaincy against Italy following an illness to Phil Vickery.
At the end of the 2007-08 season Borthwick announced that he was making the switch to Saracens from Bath. His ten year stay at the Rec ended with victory over Worcester in the European Challenge Cup final. He was then handed the England captaincy for the disappointing summer tour to New Zealand, where his young side was put to the sword by the All Blacks.
Borthwick was named Saracens' co-captain alongside Andy Farrell on the eve of the 2008-09 domestic season and new England manager Martin Johnson kept faith with him as his skipper for the end of year internationals. He retained the captaincy for the 2009 Six Nations in the face of criticism of his form and leadership but failed to claim a place in that year's British & Irish Lions tour to South Africa.
He answered his critics with a return to form in the 2009-10 season as Saracens pushed for domestic honours but he picked up a knee injury in the Six Nations clash against Scotland that ruled him out of the final Championship clash with France and also the summer tour to Australia and New Zealand. While he returned in time to play in Sarries' Guinness Premiership final defeat to Leicester, he was omitted from the England Elite Player Squad, losing out to Gloucester's Dave Attwood.