Steve Borthwick guiding the players during a training session at The Lensbury, 26 June 2023 (Steve Bardens, Getty Images)

MADE BY MEMBERS • August 2023

My Club: England Rugby’s head coach

As the Official Airline Partner to England Rugby, it’s our privilege to support the men’s and women’s teams on their travels. But who looks after the world-class men’s team here on the ground? That would be head coach Steve Borthwick, the man taking our national squad into the sport’s biggest tournament in France next month. Ahead of the competition, Borthwick talks bucket-list destinations, favourite in-flight podcasts and being part of another club – the Executive Club

What are your three in-flight essentials?
Preferably somebody that you really want to travel with! But really, I need a few things: a good book, a decent pair of headphones and a long podcast that I can get stuck into, plus my computer – as I download videos of rugby matches that I can then watch and study.

Do you have any travel hacks?
Taking snacks and making sure everything I might need on the plane is at the very top of my cabin bag, so I’m not messing around.

Where is your favourite city break?   
I’d go back to Vancouver (below) in a heartbeat.


If you could give your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be?
Keep a journal and write everything down. You forget things over time – experiences and moments and recommendations and who’s said what. Having a record of things I felt were important at the time would have been smart. 

What kind of traveller are you?
Organised, I think! I like to get to the airport in plenty of time. I really enjoy travelling, and the airport is a big part of that excitement, so spending a nice amount of time in there is important to me to really enjoy the experience.

What are you currently most excited about?
It’s a really key time for us as a team and so I’m most excited about heading to France in the coming weeks.


If you could live anywhere else, where would it be?
I was very fortunate to live in Tokyo for a couple of years, and just think Japan is the most beautiful country with incredible people. It’s also so varied, from skiing in Hokkaido in the north all the way down to the tropical waterfalls of Kyushu (abovein the south. In Tokyo itself, there’s all kinds of fun: going up to the top of Tokyo Tower and looking out over the amazing sea, visiting the many temples and shrines, meandering through the small streets and shops by Harajuku Station and wandering around Yoyogi Park.

Where are you heading next?
Well, I landed this morning from Toulouse (below) and I’ll be back and forth a lot to France for the matches. Getting to travel so much with work and seeing all the venues in some incredible countries has been a fantastic privilege.


What podcasts are you listening to?
I listen to all kinds – lots of sports podcasts, as you can imagine, but also news podcasts, which help me keep up to date with what’s going on. I also listen to a few around management. In terms of books, for me it’s all biographies, autobiographies and books around coaching, plus lots of sports stories and historical non-fiction.

Any more destinations with a special place in your heart?
Australia. My wife’s Australian, you see. In Perth (below), especially, the outdoor lifestyle, the weather, the beaches and the nature of the people make it such a good place to be.


What Tier are you? 
I’m currently Silver. 

What’s your favourite thing about it?
Going to the lounges, for sure. I was at Heathrow a couple of days ago and the welcome you get there is so incredibly friendly. The people who work in the lounges really make the experience: lovely smiles, lots of people genuinely looking out to help you with whatever you might want or need. That little moment before flying is what makes the whole experience even better.

How do you spend your Avios?
To be brutally honest, I don’t! I just don’t have the time to spend them with all the travel I’m doing for work right now. Hopefully I can spend some of them on a nice holiday soon. 

British Airways is England Rugby’s Official Airline Partner and Principal Partner of Twickenham Stadium. To find out more, including how to collect Avios at Twickenham, click here.

This article has been tagged Opinion, Sport