Borthwick fit for final
Saracens director of rugby Brendan Venter says he has no problem selecting Steve Borthwick for Saturday's Guinness Premiership final.
Last Updated: 25/05/10 5:42pm
Saracens director of rugby Brendan Venter says he has no problem selecting Steve Borthwick for Saturday's Guinness Premiership final against Leicester after his recent absence through injury.
The Sarries captain has not played since aggravating a knee injury in England's 15-15 draw with Scotland in mid-March, but has made a rapid progress in his recovery over the last two weeks.
Borthwick's season appeared to be over when he missed this month's key matches against Leicester and Northampton, but Venter is now ready to name him for this weekend's showpiece at Twickenham.
"It's fantastic to have such a world-class lock back in the mix," said Venter. "Steve will start because he's trained really well with us.
"The over-riding thing for me is to get such a special rugby player onto the pitch.
"We're very happy to have him back and it will be good for the team.
"It was also for Steve's sake - it's not every day you get to a final. It would be crazy not to use him.
"We wanted him back a little bit earlier. He had planned to come back for the Leicester game earlier this month and then for Northampton.
"He spoke to me last week and I said if he could train last week at full pace then we would consider him for selection.
"When I sat down with the coaches the over-riding opinion was that it would be wrong not to use a world-class player for the final."
However, Ernst Joubert - team captain in Borthwick's enforced absence - will continue to lead the side in case Borthwick fails to last the match.
England skipper Borthwick was recently left out of their squad for the summer tour to Australia and New Zealand by manager Martin Johnson so he could continue his rehabilitation.
"Martin Johnson had to make a decision two weeks ago and at that stage Steve was not fit to play," Venter added. "Now the progress has been such that he is fit to play."