England 22 Fiji 30: Red Rose hit ROCK BOTTOM as first ever loss to Fiji leaves World Cup preparation in tatters | The Sun

STEVE BORTHWICK'S England hit rock bottom as they were humbled by Fiji at Twickenham for the first time ever.

Outplayed, outgunned and out-thought, Borthwick’s bozos lost to the team ranked ninth in the world.

It was no way to celebrate Courtney Lawes’ 100th appearance in a white shirt – the great player deserves better than this shower.

Wales boss Warren Gatland and his assistant coaches were in the crowd as they have Fiji first in the World Cup – and this wouldn’t have made them field any better.

But England are in disarray and only a miracle will see them get beyond the quarter-finals in France.

A desperate few weeks have left England on the ropes and this defeat has knocked them onto the canvas and out of the ring.


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And the men left standing were beaten by Fiji.

England have played official Test matches against Fiji since 1988 and a couple of non-caps in 1973 and 1979, and have never lost. Now they have, and on the eve of the biggest tournament in the World.

And two weeks from the day they meet Argentina in Marseille. The Pumas must be laughing.

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Jonny May had stormed over after nine minutes for England’s first try by a back since the 53-10 collapse against France here in March but then the hosts’ attack went on the missing list.

Yes it was hosing down with rain, but guess what? It rains in Paris in October where the semi-finals and final of the World Cup are going to be played.

Not that England will be there is their offence misfires like it did in the opening hour.

Even Freddie Steward dropped three high balls in the downpour and England could not add to their score when Fiji went down to 14 men after Saracens prop Eroni Mawi was carded.

After the break, still a man down, Fiji busted through the England defence which had conceded 20 tries in the previous five games.

Semi Radradra, a legend in Bristol, floated a long pass out to Selestino Ravutaumada on 43 minutes and his inside ball found skipper Waisea Nayacalevu and Fiji were ahead.

Nine minutes later wing Vinaya Habosi was on the end of another move that exposed the England defence and, all of sudden, the Fijians were 17-8 up and flying.

Smith came on for Freddie Steward and formed a decent ball-playing partnership with George Ford to claw England back into the game .

From 20-8 down Smith got England rolling when he latched onto Ford’s chip through on 57 minutes and Ford’s sharp pass provided a finish in the corner for Joe Marchant.

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But Fiji fly-half Caleb Muntz had his kicking boots on and England trailed 23-22 heading into the last 10.

Simione Kuruvoli the replacement scrum-half put the knife and they were dancing in the streets of Suva.

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