Sat, 26 Sep 2020

Borthwick named Leicester head coach

News24
21 Jan 2020, 22:13 GMT+10

London - Former England captain Steve Borthwick is to be head coach of Premiership strugglers Leicester Tigers next season, the club announced on Tuesday.

The 40-year-old is stepping down from his present post as England skills coach having earned plaudits for his spell in charge of the forwards which played a pivotal role in their reaching last year's World Cup final.

His arrival at the Tigers will see present head coach, former Irish international fullback Geordan Murphy, move up to fill a director of rugby role.

Borthwick faces quite a challenge as The Tigers have had a miserable season continuing a sharp decline in the fortunes of a club that once dominated the domestic and European scene.

The last of their 10 Premiership titles dates back to 2013 and this term but for champions Saracens being punished firstly with a 35 point deduction and then on Saturday with relegation due to breaching the salary cap they would be bottom of the table with just 11 points from eight matches.

"We are delighted to confirm that Steve will be joining us as head coach," said Leicester chairperson Peter Tom in a club statement.

"He is regarded among the brightest and most astute young coaches in the game and he played a prominent part in the coaching team which led England to the Rugby World Cup Final last year."

Borthwick, who was Eddie Jones's first coaching appointment when the Australian took over following the 2015 World Cup, said he wanted to restore The Tigers to their former prominent status.

"The Tigers have such a long and successful history, and are one of the greatest rugby clubs in the game," said Borthwick, who captained England from 2008-2010.

"Welford Road, with the special atmosphere created by the club's incredible supporters roaring their team forward, is a very special place to be.

"We must now work to build upon that great history, and create our future to get this club to the top of European rugby.

"It is a brilliant challenge."

Jones had praised Borthwick on Monday when it was announced he would be leaving at the end of the season - the Englishman had worked with the Australian when the latter was head coach of Japan which included the remarkable victory over South Africa at the 2015 World Cup.

"I have had a great seven years with Steve," said Jones.

"He is a loyal, hard-working coach.

"He created a great line-out for England and really developed the young guys."

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