England head coach Eddie Jones has decided to overhaul his coaching team ahead of the RBS Six Nations 2016. The backroom team of Andy Farrell, Graham Rowntree and Mike Catt have all been relieved of their duties as English Rugby enters a new era under their first ever foreign coach.
The trio were part of the staff under Stuart Lancaster who left his post as head coach after England’s disappointing 2015 World Cup campaign, where they failed to make it out of the group stage for the first time in their history.
Jones has immediately found a replacement for Rowntree as it was announced today that Steve Borthwick would join the team as forwards coach. The former England captain worked with the Australian in his time with Japan and transformed them into one of the most effective forward packs at the World Cup.
Borthwick had joined Bristol after the World Cup but the RFU and Jones have been able to prize him away from the Championship side. His job will be to get the best out of this powerful and talented England pack in what is a crucial Six Nations campaign.
Shortly after the appointment Jones said, “Steve has a huge amount of international experience as a player and a captain and his coaching in Japan in recent years shows he can get the best out of the players at the highest level. He is a great addition and I look forward to working with him again as we look ahead to the start of the RBS 6 Nations next year.”
Another man who could be on the verge of joining the Jones revolution is Saracens coach Paul Gustard. The former flanker is credited with creating the “wolf pack” ethos which has made Saracens defence one of the most ferocious in Europe.
After Saracens European Champions Cup victory on Sunday, Director of Rugby Mark McCall confirmed the RFU had made an approach for Gustard saying: “Paul has been made an offer to become an assistant coach with England. Paul is considering the offer and I’m sure there will be some dealings between the RFU and ourselves over the next 24-48 hours.”
The 39-year-old has also spent time as a forwards coach at his club side and there is a possibility he assist Borthwick in this area. Whatever his capacity one thing is for certain, fans can expect to see a completely different mentality in England’s defence during the 2016 Six Nations.
Tough Six Nations Ahead for England
England face a tough start to their RBS Six Nations campaign when they travel to Murrayfield to face the ‘Auld Enemy’ Scotland on Saturday 6th February; followed by a trip to Rome to face Italy.
Then comes the real test with back-to-back games at Twickenham against Ireland (Saturday 27th February) and Wales (Saturday 12th March). The Irish enter the Six Nations as the reigning champions, while the fixture against Wales always produces fireworks.
Their final game of the 2016 Six Nations see’s England travel to Paris to play France on Saturday 19th March.