Just in case he needed reminding of the huge challenge ahead, Martin Johnson has apparently been in touch with his captain to tell him what he needs to do.
Hopefully he mentioned that he needs to work on his presence, and it’s not good enough to just push in the scrums and jump in the lineouts. Everyone needs to see Borthwick carrying the ball in the loose and leading the charge in a Johnno sort of way.
Perhaps he also discussed the hotel room shenanigans that apparently took place last week, and for Borthwick’s sake I hope that if something untoward did take place, he wasn’t involved – I wouldn’t want a dressing down from the great man, even if he is 3,000 miles away.
I wonder also if Johnson discussed match strategy for Saturday’s game. Presumably he’d be reiterating the importance of defence, particularly in the 10 channel, and probably suggesting that the forwards batten down the hatches and hope that Flood can kick them into a position to score with a driving maul or slot the odd penalty.
Do you think he also had some advice on how to ignite the creative spark that must be lurking somewhere in that centre partnership of Jamie Noon and Mike Tindall?