Borthwick could be unveiled as England head coach this week
Steve Borthwick could be unveiled as the new England head coach THIS WEEK once RFU finalise deal with Leicester… but it’s unclear if Tigers will also allow defence coach Kevin Sinfield and fitness guru Aled Walters to leave
- Eddie Jones has been sacked as England head coach after seven years in charge
- RFU will fast-track a compensation deal with Leicester for head coach Borthwick
- It is unclear what will happen to Jones’ assistants including Richard Cockerill
Steve Borthwick is set to be unveiled as England’s new head coach in the coming days after Eddie Jones was sacked by the RFU on Tuesday —bringing his seven-year tenure to an abrupt end.
The union launched urgent talks with Leicester Tigers about recruiting Borthwick six months earlier than planned, in response to an emergency predicament.
A dire Autumn Nations Series yielded just one victory from four Tests and culminated in the national team being booed off after losing 27-13 to a weakened Springbok side, which appeared to seal Jones’s fate.
The RFU will fast-track a compensation deal with Leicester for head coach Steve Borthwick
Borthwick could bring defence coach Kevin Sinfield and fitness guru Aled Walters with him
As first revealed by MailOnline on Monday evening, the 62-year-old Australian was unable to save his job as the RFU’s secretive review panel concluded, after a meeting that day — and based on feedback from players and other coaches — that Jones’s position was untenable.
He was summoned to Twickenham on Tuesday morning and sacked after the union’s executive board wasted no time in endorsing the panel’s verdict.
It was all over so swiftly. By late morning, the RFU had released a statement officially confirming that Jones had been removed from his post. Their patience had run out, but, as ever, the brutal action was given a shiny gloss.
‘It is important to recognise the huge contribution Eddie has made to English rugby, winning three Six Nations championships, one Grand Slam and taking us to a Rugby World Cup final,’ said the union’s chief executive Bill Sweeney, in the press release from Twickenham.
‘He has the highest win ratio of any England head coach and has helped develop the leadership skills of many players and coaches. I am grateful to Eddie for all he has done for England across many areas of the game.’
In the statement, Jones added: ‘I am pleased with much that we have achieved as an England team and I look forward to watching the team’s performance in the future. Many of the players and I will no doubt keep in touch and I wish them all well in their future careers.’
Eddie Jones has been sacked as England head coach, ending his seven-year reign in charge
In truth, the working relationship between Sweeney and Jones had become strained of late, which was one background factor in the decision to implement a regime change with a World Cup looming in nine months’ time.
For now, Richard Cockerill — who has worked under Jones as forwards coach since September last year — will hold the fort, but that arrangement is unlikely to last long.
As previously reported in these pages, Borthwick was already destined to be integrated next June, ready to take over from Jones after the World Cup.
Now, the task is to fast-forward that process, which involves a certain amount of red tape — largely to do with the compensation which the national governing body will have to pay Leicester for taking their title-winning head coach in the middle of the season.
It is unclear what will happen to Jones’ assistants including Richard Cockerill (above)
However unfortunate the timing is for the Tigers, they have made it clear that they will co-operate fully and it is understood the release will be a formality once contractual details have been ironed out.
A Leicester press conference with Borthwick that was due to take place on Tuesday afternoon was postponed until Friday, by which time he may no longer be an employee of the club.
For now, it is unclear what will happen to Cockerill and the other assistants Jones has left behind; Matt Proudfoot, Martin Gleeson and Brett Hodgson — who is supposed to be starting work as the new Red Rose defence coach after the departure of Anthony Seibold. Costs will mount markedly if they all have to be released — along with other advisors and staff.
Borthwick is thought to be keen to bring Tigers defence coach Kevin Sinfield and fitness guru Aled Walters with him into the England set-up, but there is no certainty that Tigers will allow themselves to be raided so extensively as it would leave them facing a major rebuild.
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