Steve Borthwick hits out at England's critics after opening Rugby World Cup win

England head coach Steve Borthwick hit out at those who have criticised his team after a 27-10 win in their first Rugby World Cup match on Saturday.

Tom Curry’s sending off forced England to play for 76 minutes with 14 men against Argentina but George Ford produced a sensational performance as he kicked six penalties and three drop-goals to score all of his team’s 27 points.

Many have written off England’s chances at this year’s World Cup in France, with Borthwick’s side currently ranked as low as eighth in the world, but the head coach had a message for the nation’s critics following victory over the Pumas.

‘I enjoy this job and I enjoy working with this fantastic group of players,’ Borthwick told ITV.

‘I’m really pleased for them tonight and I’m also pleased for the supporters. The team love the supporters and the way they got behind us tonight.

‘There was a sense I had from the players they had been written off a bit too early.

‘They are a quality group of players that are going to keep on improving and moving forward.

Victory in our Rugby World Cup opener🌹#ENGvARG | #RWC2023

‘We will enjoy this tonight and the fans will enjoy it but our focus will switch to Japan very quickly for our next game on Sunday.’

Ford, meanwhile, reflecting on his Player-of-the-Match performance, said: ‘The drop-goals are always planned, it is a great weapon for us, especially when the ball is a bit greasy tonight.

‘We went down a man early on and had to come away from as many points when we had field position.

‘The boys up front were incredible to get us into that field position.

‘We have had a bit of a rocky build-up to this World Cup but I think in the last 10 days there has been a different feeling to the place.

‘It is only game one and we will look to build next week. We want to keep improving.’

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