Cape Town – England forwards coach Steve Borthwick says they have to make some changes if they are to win their upcoming three-Test series in South Africa.
England entered this year’s Six Nations campaign as firm favourites to defend the title they had won in 2016 and 2017.
Under head coach Eddie Jones’ watch, England had won 22 out of 23 Tests entering the 2018 Six Nations.
However, three losses – to Scotland, France and Ireland – saw them surrender their crown and finish a lowly fifth.
Next month they will head to South Africa attempting to win an away series for the first time against the Springboks.
“We got some clear feedback in some games about what things we need to work on. I think it has given us a great direction about where we need to go and what we need to do going forward for the challenge this summer,” Borthwick told England Rugby’s official website.
When asked what it would take to upend the Boks, Jones’ assistant said: “We’ve got to change what we’ve done previously and what England teams have done before. We’ve never won a Test series in South Africa. If we do things the same as we have done before we will probably end up with the same results and we have got to change.
“We can talk about technical areas, things we have learned, breakdown for instance was an area we want to do better in, but overall we are changing the way we approach things going forward.”
When probed whether he and Jones were planning radical changes, Borthwick added: “As ever small things can be pretty significant. You make small changes and they have pretty profound effects. We need to break the mould – we need to prepare differently, prepare better.
“We look at it this summer and we have a 23 percent win rate in South Africa in Tests. We need to go with a different attitude, a different mindset and prepare differently. The thing with rugby is it is always changing and you have got to make sure you are changing and developing with it.”
The first Test between South Africa and England is scheduled for Ellis Park in Johannesburg on June 9, followed by Tests in Bloemfontein (Free State Stadium, June 16) and Cape Town (Newlands, June 23).