The Red Rose head coach insisted his side will show their class in France, with their first meeting a big test of their qualities against strong Argentina.
England have slipped to their lowest place in the world rankings, eighth, after losing six in nine games under Borthwick.
Argentina have overtaken England to sixth place, even beating England 30-29 in the closing stages of Eddie Jones’ reign in November.
Michael Cheika’s men were favorites in many quarters for Saturday’s opener in Pool D, but England manager Borthwick was frustrated by the situation.
“It’s a fantastic tournament and everyone involved in the England team can’t wait to get started,” said Borthwick, preparing for Saturday’s crucial clash at the Stade Velodrome in Marseille.
“I sense that the players feel like they were written off too early. People checked the time a little too early.
“I think this squad has a lot of class. The players still have a lot to do.
“They can’t wait to be there Saturday night.”
Alex Mitchell has passed Danny Care and Ben Youngs and is in the starting XI at half-time against Argentina after missing out on the opening 33-man squad.
A fit-again Tom Curry will play his first game since May after overcoming an ankle problem. England is relying on the powerful flanker, who will be at full strength from the start.
Dan Cole starts at tighthead prop, while Kyle Sinckler isn’t quite ready to make the selection after a pectoral problem.
Courtney Lawes leads England at blindside flanker while Owen Farrell misses the first two World Cup games due to suspension.
The powerhouse from Northampton provides more ballast in the tackle area and additional skills at the lineout.
Lawes is heading into his fourth World Cup and admitted England are determined to prove their doubters wrong.
“It obviously adds a bit of fuel to the fire and gives us motivation,” Lawes said of people writing England off.
“Of course we want to perform for each other.
“We’ve had a really good week of training, it feels like things are starting to come together and we’re excited for the weekend.
“We know we’re dealing with a good team, but we also know that we have as good a chance as any other team that can walk away with a win.
“I think we have to take advantage of the heat that’s on us. It’s the first game of the World Cup and we have to be ready.”
https://www.standard.co.uk/sport/rugby/borthwick-lawes-england-rugby-world-cup-2023-b1105689.html Steve Borthwick insists England were written off too early ahead of the start of the Rugby World Cup