England captain Steve Borthwick says he's focused on ridding himself of his persistent injury troubles after being left out of the summer tour of Australia and New Zealand.
The Saracens second row captained the England side through their first four RBS 6 Nations games this year before a knee injury ruled him out of their final match against France.
Having failed to feature in any of Saracens ‘ Guinness Premiership matches since then, the 30-year old was left out of Martin Johnson’s 44-man squad for the five-match tour in June.
And Borthwick admits he is looking to regain full fitness over the summer before returning to the international fold next season.
“It’s not a comfortable feeling,” said Borthwick. “Someone else will get a chance and I’ll miss opportunities to represent my country.
“Captaincy is a huge privilege, a huge honour – I wouldn’t call it a bonus but it is something on top. I now have a great opportunity to have a full pre-season and come back totally rejuvenated.
“I am proud to captain England, but what drives me most is success here at Saracens and being part of the England team.”