England have appointed Leicester’s Steve Borthwick as new head coach of the men’s national team, nine months before the World Cup begins in France.
The 43-year-old is joined by defense coach Kevin Sinfield, who he has worked with at Leicester since 2021.
Borthwick has been favorite to take on the role since Eddie Jones was sacked and joins on a five-year contract.
“I want the whole country to be proud of us and to enjoy watching us play,” said Borthwick.
The former England captain’s first match in charge will be the Six Nations opener against Scotland on 4 February.
Borthwick and England will return to Twickenham for that match trying to regain the confidence of fans, with some booing after a 27-13 defeat by South Africa in November.
When Borthwick took over at Leicester in 2020, the club were struggling at the bottom of the Premiership, but he improved their fortunes to lead them to their first top-flight title in nine years last season.
Having worked as Jones’ assistant with Japan and then England, he was expected to take the reins after the 2023 World Cup – but that date was brought forward after the side’s poor run of form, as they won five of 12 Tests in 2022.
Borthwick’s contract will run until the end of 2027 – taking England through two World Cups.
“I’m deeply honored to be appointed England head coach, and I am very excited by the challenge,” Borthwick said.
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.
“The hard work starts now and planning for the Guinness Six Nations and Rugby World Cup begins today. I will give it everything.”
More to follow.