Steve Borthwick rallying call has Leicester Tigers energised for Prem restart

Steve Borthwick has put the Tiger back in Leicester’s tank within days of joining English rugby’s biggest club.

The England forwards coach was hired to breathe life into the 10-time champions, who languish bottom but one of the Premiership.

And new signing Luke Wallace revealed that the former England captain’s first move was to take the squad into the Welford Road stands and deliver a rallying call.

“He gave a really inspirational speech,” said the former Harlequin. “We spoke about the DNA of Leicester and taking the good from that and adding a new DNA.

“We talked about Leicester being a working-class town and the fans expecting us to work hard – and I can tell you we have been.

“I’d compare his arrival to the impact Paul Gustard made at Quins, the whole energy around the building changed instantly.”

Borthwick led his country in 21 of his 57 Red Rose appearances during a playing career spent with Bath and Saracens.

“Welford Road is a special place,” he said. “I know it from being there may times as an opposition player. So the decision to talk there was a very simple one.

“It is the place where the people of Leicester come to watch their team and we're working hard to become the type of team that they want to watch and that they're proud to support."

Borthwick, 40, says he will be “forever grateful” to England boss Eddie Jones for the “opportunities he gave to me and the efforts he put into helping my development” as a coach.

“Every day getting up and trying to find a way to improve, find a way to win – that’s the everlasting impression Eddie left on me. Now it’s about developing my own way of working."

Four players and one member of staff, from a pool of 846, tested positive in the fourth week of Premiership Rugby’s Covid screening.

That compares with 10 positives from 804 in week one, nine from 856 in week two and two from 896 seven days ago.

Exeter Chiefs are to keep their nickname and logo – but give their mascot the chop.

The Premiership leaders faced calls from some fans to follow the example of Washington Redskins’ NFL team and shed their Native American branding.

Chiefs’ board met to discuss a petition with more than 3,700 signatories and concluded that their Big Chief mascot "could be regarded as disrespectful”.

A statement read: "Content provided to the board indicated that the name Chiefs dated back into the early 1900s and had a long history with people in the Devon area.

"The board took the view that the use of the Chiefs logo was in fact highly respectful,” read a statement which pointed out that the name Chiefs dated back more than a century and had a long history with people in the Devon area.

"It was noted over the years we have had players and coaches from around the world with a wide range of nationalities and cultures. At no time have any players, coaches or their families said anything but positive comments about the branding or culture that exists at the club.

"The one aspect which the board felt could be regarded as disrespectful was the club's mascot 'Big Chief' and as a mark of respect have decided to retire him."

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