Premiership Immortals - The Debate ShowAug 29
England have confirmed Steve Borthwick as their new head coach on a five-year deal.
Borthwick, 43, succeeds Eddie Jones with less than 12 months to go until the 2023 Rugby World Cup begins in France.
Jones was dismissed as England head coach after seven years at the helm following a disappointing Autumn Nations Series.
Borthwick was tipped to take the reins after the 2023 Rugby World Cup, but the RFU decided to act after England won only five of their last 13 Test matches.
The former England captain's first match in charge will be the Six Nations opener against Scotland on 4 February.
Borthwick said: "I'm deeply honoured to be appointed England head coach, and I am very excited by the challenge.
"The English game is full of talent and I want to build a winning team which makes the most of our huge potential and inspires young people to fall in love with rugby union the way I did. I want the whole country to be proud of us and to enjoy watching us play.
"The hard work starts now and planning for the Guinness Six Nations and Rugby World Cup begins today. I will give it everything.”
Borthwick leaves the Tigers after transformational two-and-a-half year spell at Welford Road in which he took the club from bottom of the table to Premiership champions.
Richard Wigglesworth, who worked as a player-coach under Borthwick, has been named as Leicester's interim head coach.
Kevin Sinfield has also been appointed to the position of England defence coach.
Sinfield was been defence coach alongside Borthwick in their record-breaking run at Leicester Tigers.
Sinfield has long been inspirational figure in the world of sport and beyond and will hope to have a similar impact in his new role.
He has raised over £7m for charity and championed research in support of ex-Leeds teammate Rob Burrow, who was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (MND).
He said: “It is a special moment to join England as a coach. I know what representing your country means and to get the chance to do it as a coach is a real honour.
“There is so much player talent in England and I am really looking forward to working with the wider squad of players to see what we can achieve together, especially with such a massive year ahead of us.
“I’d like to thank everyone at Leicester Tigers, the players, staff and supporters, for welcoming me to the club. I’ve loved my time there and wish them all the best for the rest of the season.
“I’m looking forward to getting started and there’s no better opening campaign than the Guinness Six Nations.”
Borthwick has long been ear-marked to for the England top job with a wealth of top-level coaching experience already under his belt.
The ex-Saracens and Bath lock retired from playing in 2014 and has built a formidable coaching CV since then.
After working with Jones as an assistant with Japan and then England, Borthwick moved to Leicester in 2020, with the club at the bottom of the Premiership table.
Borthwick masterminded a startling transformation, culminating in the Tigers winning the Premiership title in June 2022.
Leicester have made an inauspicious start to their the defence of their league crown, but Borthwick leaves the club in a far better place than he found it.
Tigers are on the cusp of the Premiership play-off spots and unbeaten in the Heineken Champions Cup, with a raft of home-grown players capped by England during his tenure.
His departure comes just two days after overseeing Leicester's victory over Clermont to move them up into third in Pool B of the Heineken Cup.
A short Tigers statement from Tigers CEO said: “The first and most important thing to say to Steve is, thank you.
“He is one of the most hard working and dedicated people I have had the pleasure of seeing up close and his commitment to helping rebuild and reshape Leicester Tigers was profound.
“I know it will be disappointing for many to have this news confirmed, however what we want to do now is celebrate what has been achieved with Steve and the achievements made with him.
“On behalf of everyone at Leicester Tigers, I wish Steve - as well as his wife and two boys - all the best in their next chapter, of which I am certain he will be successful in.”