Borthwick to be named England rugby coach
Steve Borthwick is set to be confirmed as England’s new head coach on Monday, replacing Australia’s Eddie Jones.
Borthwick was recruited from Leicester, where he has served as rugby director since 2020 and guided the club to last season’s Gallagher Premiership title.
The deal, which brings the 43-year-old Cumbrian to Twickenham, was finalized on Sunday morning and he will be officially announced as Jones’ successor 24 hours later, sources say.
Jones was sacked almost two weeks ago after managing England’s worst results year since 2008, recording just five wins from 12 games.
Warren Gatland, Ronan O’Gara and Scott Robertson were among the names touted as successors, but Borthwick was the Rugby Football Union’s overwhelming preference to take over.
Before elevating Leicester from a fallen giant of English club rugby to Premiership champions, the former Saracens captain spent eight years as an international assistant coach – all under Jones.
After hanging up his boots, he launched his coaching career with Japan in 2012 and then joined his tracksuit mentor when he was appointed England manager after the disastrous 2015 World Cup.
Borthwick’s role was to oversee the forwards, with line-up being his main area of expertise, but he also played the key role of coaching coordinator and was seen as the glue behind the scenes.
Since his departure, England have struggled for consistency as the exodus of backroom staff has been accelerated given Jones’ demanding management style.
When Borthwick took over, Leicester staggered from 11th place in the 2019-20 season and were only spared relegation by the Saracens’ salary cap scandal, which saw the London club drop out of the Premier League instead.
The ship was stabilized by finishing sixth a season later and despite working below the salary cap he went on to lead Leicester’s first league title since 2013.
Now in charge of England and having to pick another team out of the doldrums – although this time he has the World Cup on the horizon.
Just five competitive games in the form of the Six Nations await next autumn’s global spectacle in France, with four warm-up games providing additional preparation time.
England’s form has seen them drop out of the group of main contenders to win the Webb Ellis Cup, which features France, South Africa, Ireland and New Zealand.
A clearer picture of the make-up of Borthwick’s senior management team is expected to emerge on Monday when he appears at a press conference in Twickenham
While the logistics for the World Cup are a pressing concern for the new head coach, he also has a number of other problem areas to resolve, including a lack of identity, a toothless attack and a lack of tactical alignment.
But given his success in overtaking Leicester, he will be confident he can shape England into a force in time for France 2023.