O2 England Rugby Partnership 2023
England take on the world in 2023
With the biggest tournament in rugby union on it's way, excitement is building – and we’ll be with England all the way.
Coming out strong
England’s experience at the Guinness Six Nations earlier this year wasn’t without its challenges – but the team will be fired up and ready to give it their all as they head for France. New head coach Steve Borthwick, who took over from Eddie Jones last December, and his squad will have learned some lessons that they should be able to turn into positives. Borthwick will benefit from having more time to prepare his squad, both physically and tactically – as well as four Tests prior to the start of the tournament against Wales (home and away), Ireland in Dublin and Fiji at Twickenham Stadium.
Close to home
While you wouldn’t necessarily expect hordes of England fans to follow their team to, say, Australia or Japan (although lots do), a tournament in France is far less daunting in terms of distance and cost. England supporters are expected to travel in their droves, especially with two pool matches taking place in Lille – the stadium nearest to England – and another in Marseille, so there should be strong English support to roar the team on. Also, the squad will be based in the northern seaside town of Le Touquet, less than 40 miles from the Kent coast, so there certainly won’t be any jet lag involved or acclimatising required.
Borthwick named his 33-man squad for France at the start of August and it’s packed with players who put in excellent performances for their clubs this season. Backs Ben Youngs and Freddie Steward were instrumental in getting Leicester to the Premiership semi-finals, while Courtney Lawes and Lewis Ludlum were part of a superb Northampton pack. The two Premiership Grand Finalists, Sale Sharks and Saracens, are also providing some of England’s most important and in-form players. Sharks backs George Ford and Manu Tuilagi and forward Tom Curry have excelled this season, while Saracens’ powerful lock Maro Itoje has been one of England’s most reliable performers for years.
For a shot of motivation, the England men’s rugby team could do a lot worse than looking to their sister squad. The Red Roses have smashed it in 2023, defeating all comers in the TikTok Women’s Six Nations – including fierce rivals France – to become champions for the fifth year running. They also hold top spot in the world rankings. O2 has long been a big supporter of the Red Roses, both as sports fans and through our partnership with England Rugby. Here’s hoping their success spurs on the men’s team this autumn.
Show your support with Priority
Thanks to Priority from O2, you can cheer on England Rugby whether you’re at home or travelling to France. From signed shirt giveaways to England Rugby kit offers, with Priority there will be experiences to enhance your matchday experience wherever you’re watching.