May 30, 2014
Content Borthwick ready for final battle
Saracens captain Steve Borthwick will bring down the curtain on a wonderful 16 year career this Saturday when he leads out Saracens for the last time in their Aviva Premiership Final against Northampton Saints at Twickenham Stadium.
On the eve of the Premeirship season finale, the Carlisle born lock spoke about his emotions going into what will be his 265th and last Premiership appearance before the he hangs up his boots.
"We would dearly love to win the game on Saturday," said the former England Captain.
"There has been a tremendous amount of hard work from lots of people in this organisation throughout this season and the years before to get to this point in time and to get to this final. I think that we are going to go out on Saturday and play as hard as we possibly can. I think that the one thing that I’m sure of this group is it won’t be for the want of trying. We’re playing against a very good team in Northampton, like we did last Saturday when we played Toulon, so I can’t tell you what the result will be, but we are going to give it our very best shot.
"Whilst I know what I'm doing after this point in time until Saturday night I am rugby player with Saracens, and I owe it to my teammates and my friends to ensure that they have my full attention and my full focus. I've said it to them many times that they will have everything of me, I'll give absolutely everything until I'm finished. I've promised them that and I'll continue to do that. I'm not saying that it will be perfect, I've never said that, but I will always try my very best for my teammates".
Borthwick's 16-season career has been littered with some of the highest achievements in the game. The 34-year-old has captained his country in 21 of his 57 England caps, whilst at club level the former Hutton Grammar student has captained both Bath and Saracens to silverware, whislt individually he holds the record for appearances in the English top flight. When quizzed on where a 2013/14 Premiership title would rank in those list of achievements Borthwick just hopes his teammates can sample Premiership glory once again.
“Where would it rank? It is really difficult to make those kinds of comparisons," he said.
"I can talk about my final game for Bath, captaining England or winning the Premiership in 2011 - they are all kinds of fantastic memories that I have. I want this team to enjoy the success of lifting silverware, this is a group that I have been privileged to have been a part of for some time. I’ve made some fantastic memories both on the rugby field, but many away from the rugby field - other things that may be inconsequential to other people, but moments with friends and teammates, they are pretty awesome memories. This would be absolutely special to win this weekend, as it always would be. To be part of this group really is a privilege.
On his impending retirement and looking back on a glittering career Borthwick added; "To be involved with this great club, and to have played 10 seasons at Bath and to have represented England, who wouldn’t bite your hand off to take what I have been able to do? I feel content with where I am. I’ve been a professional for 16 years, I think I’ve earned the respect of my teammates and made a lot of great friends along the way.
“There are costs along the way and there are things that take their toll. But I honestly don’t bat an eyelid at those now. I would go back and do it all again to have all those experiences again. I am content with it. It has been an amazing journey. To think back when I was a kid...I was 14 years old saying, ‘I want to play for England’. Then in 1995-96 when rugby turned professional I was asked in school when I was filling in my careers form what did I want to do. I wrote down, ‘I want to be a professional rugby player. To have been able to do that for 16 seasons and have those experiences and seen parts of the world and played in the stadia I have played in ... but the biggest thing that it keeps coming back to is the respect from my team-mates and the friendships I have made. Those are the things I will take with me forever.”
Borthwick added; "It’s been a fantastic journey as a player and hopefully there’s plenty more steps to go with this wonderful group on Saturday”.