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England rugby stars celebrate wildly after Euro 2024 victory over the Netherlands… Steve Borthwick reveals players sing Gareth Southgate’s song on the bus to training!

  • Southgate’s team beat Netherlands to reach Euro 2024 final
  • Steve Borthwick’s team woke up at 7am to watch the match at their hotel in Auckland

England rugby players sang ‘football is coming home again’ as they boarded the bus for training on Thursday after gathering in the early hours to watch Gareth Southgate’s team reach the European Championship final.

The match against Holland kicked off at 7am New Zealand time and there were scenes of raucous celebrations at the Red Rose hotel when Aston Villa forward Ollie Watkins scored a last-minute winner. England captain and Villa fan Jamie George said: ‘We went wild in the team room, we went crazy, it was unbelievable – I’m a very proud Villain.

‘Apparently they were all watching us play on Saturday. Gareth Southgate texted Steve (Borthwick) to say they were watching us, which is pretty great; a great pass.’ Borthwick’s squad will fly out of Auckland as the final kicks off in Germany on Sunday night. ‘We’ll rely on the (plane) Wifi,’ George added.

Borthwick revealed that his players would sing football chants on the bus on the way to training, with George saying: ‘Marcus (Smith) was in charge of the playlist and he would come up with the classic football chants. ‘Southgate, you’re the one’ (football is coming home again), that was a popular chant.

‘That’s the power of sport. How good is it? There’s the joy that the England football team brings to us and hopefully we can do that for a lot of people back home. This month has been absolutely fantastic with cricket, with the European Championships, Wimbledon and Jimmy Anderson’s last Test. There’s a lot to be excited about and we hope we can continue this positive arc of English sport.’

England rugby players watched Euro 2024 win over Netherlands at team hotel
Players are seen celebrating wildly in a video on the official England Rugby X account

When asked if the players’ success had had a tangible impact on his own team’s preparations to face the All Blacks on Saturday, head coach Borthwick said: ‘Absolutely. There are a lot of football fans in the room, cricket fans watching Jimmy Anderson’s last Test match for England this week. The guys are following that.

‘It was great to see the kids jumping and cheering when we scored this morning. Seeing them singing on the bus on the way to training… they had so much fun.’

Southgate has been a regular visitor to England’s Surrey headquarters in recent years and Borthwick confirmed they have been in close contact. He paid emphatic praise, saying: ‘I have a tremendous amount of respect for him. He has been incredibly helpful and supportive to me personally.

‘We’re on a WhatsApp group with a bunch of coaches and he’s very generous with sharing his thoughts with us. He came and spoke to the team before the Rugby World Cup and I met him earlier this year to get his opinion on a few things.

‘I’ve been enjoying watching his team progress. There’s always pressure on the England team – whether it’s football, rugby or cricket. The way he’s handled it obviously, leading that group and getting the players to trust the process… they’re now competing in the final this weekend.’