England re-appoint Borthwick

England have re-appointed Steve Borthwick as chief scape-goat for the Six Nations Championship.

After careful consideration of his options, England manager Martin Johnson confirmed that the Saracens second row would be the first point of contact for the inevitable torrent of criticism to come.

Borthwick’s experience in the role over the past year is thought to have given him the edge over his rivals. He has lead England in internationals, losing , giving him much practise at constructing excuses and mastering all the clichés in the sporting bible.

“Steve’s experience is second to none,” Johnson said. “But more important than that, he is hugely skilful. He can do the ‘we’re just focused on ourselves’, ‘all that matters is winning’, the classic ‘we don’t read the papers’, and the straight-batted delusion, ‘I think we played well’. He can even do the ‘Scotland aren’t a bad side’. The guy is very talented.

“Also he distracts attention away from the rest of us which is key at international level. If you are going to survive in this environment you need to be subtle, run distraction and use all the diversion tactics you can.”

Former Golden Boy Jonny Wilkinson was in the frame for the post but eventually lost out to Borthwick for the black armband, which signifies the death of a career and reputation.

Following his split with Golden Boy promotions – and his decision to of his second name – they fly half’s form has spiralled down the toilet. An atrocious showing over the autumn internationals and his habitual boot-licking of the management, magnified rumours that he might be ready for the ultimate job in English rugby.

But it is thought his close links with public sentiment and England’s refusal to forget the World Cup victory in 2003 have made him wholly unsuitable for the role.

*elements of this story are fiction

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