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VIDEO: England coach addresses heated exchange with Ireland's Farrell

REACTION: England head coach Steve Borthwick was pressed to explain his exchange with Ireland head coach Andy Farrell at half-time during Saturday’s Six Nations clash at Twickenham.

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Marcus Smith’s last-ditch drop-goal saw England end Ireland’s hope of successive Grand Slams with a dramatic 23-22 win in London.

There were more than 80 minutes on the clock when replacement flyhalf Smith, making his first appearance of the tournament, landed the winning kick as England ended a run of four straight defeats by Ireland.

When the half-time whistle was blown it was 12-8 to Ireland and just before the teams headed towards the tunnel, Borthwick appeared to exchange angry words with his former England teammate.


However, the England boss played down the incident during his post-match press conference.

“Absolutely fine. Andy and I have known each other for a long time, we played alongside each other for England, we both represented England at the 2007 World Cup, so we go back a long way,” Borthwick said.

“What he has done with that Ireland team is just incredible. Very special. They are an incredible team and I thought today [Saturday] was a very special Test match.

“It’s between Andy and I. I know people want to read into things like that, but I think Andy and I have a very good relationship. We were co-captains together at Saracens as players, we coached together on the Lions in 2017.

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“I have incredible respect for him and what he has done with that team. Which, as I say, is a phenomenal team.”

England finished third at the World Cup after capitalising on a lopsided draw, but this win was arguably their best performance since Borthwick’s appointment as head coach in December 2022.

“The team has been progressing,” said Borthwick.

“We are four games into building a new team here.

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“I am delighted for the players and especially the supporters. There will be a lot of people on their sofas and in the pubs happy with themselves.

“When you look at that game the players showed incredible intensity from the first minute to the 80th minute.”

Express & AFP

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