Steve Borthwick admits the gap between England and rugby union’s best sides was brutally exposed in their embarrassing home defeat to France in the Six Nations.
France kept their own championship hopes alive with a ruthless 53-10 victory, scoring seven tries as they ran riot on Saturday evening.
England, having also suffered defeat to at home to Scotland in their opening game, suffered their worst ever loss at Twickenham and their third heaviest defeat in history with their title hopes ended in humiliating fashion.
Full-back Thomas Ramos, second-row Thibaud Flament and back-row Charles Ollivon scored tries in a blistering first-half for Les Blues with Ramos adding two penalties and all three conversations.
England rallied early in the second-half through Freddie Steward but France struck again with a quick-fire double through Flament and Ollivon again, before wing Damian Penaud added two more.
France showed exactly why they are the second highest ranked team in world rugby with England taking on no1 Ireland next weekend in Dublin.
And ahead of that championship-closing test, head coach Borthwick was left with plenty to ponder.
‘Certainly you have to give immense credit to France and they are clearly a world class team,’ he told ITV.
‘For us we are really disappointed in that performance, there are lots of things we wanted to do but we couldn’t execute.
‘I think we lost collisions across both lines, attack and defence. We knew they have immense power and unfortunately we didn’t deal with it.
‘When we attacked they were able to dominate. There is plenty of work on the collision areas
‘We got exposed today. I thought we would get a measure of where we are at, there is a big gap between us and the top teams in the world. I don’t think it matters what I thought it [the gap] was before, I think we understand where we are and what we have to do.’
The victory saw France secure their biggest-winning margin over England, eclipsing the 25-point gap achieved in both a 1972 and 2006.
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