Nick Evans will join England Rugby Side as attack coach for the Six Nations as Steve Borthwick continues to build his coaching team for the upcoming Championship, having previously announced Kevin Sinfield as defence coach. The Harlequins backs and strike coach has been permitted to join up with England Rugby ahead of Borthwick’s first game in charge against Scotland at Twickenham on 4 February.
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The move appears to bring Martin Gleeson’s long-term future, as the attack coach Borthwick genetic from the Eddie Jones era, into question. Though, there has so far been no official comment concerning Gleeson’s role. Evans won 16 caps for New Zealand before winning the Premiership as a player and a coach at Quins, where he has overseen an expansive and entertaining brand of rugby. His appointment is a boon for fly-half Marcus Smith and the likes of Harlequins winger Cadan Murley who was overlooked by Jones. Borthwick thanked Harlequins for their cooperation with the RFU and revealed his excitement at what Evans can bring to his side.
He stated: “I am delighted that Nick is joining our squad ahead of the Six Nations”.
Nick brings with him a means of different experiences as a player and coach, which will be extremely important to the growth of our squad. I know that Nick understands the pride and accountability that comes with being in your country. We aim to build an England Rugby team that our nation can be proud of, and I know that our fans will be very excited by what Nick can bring to our side.
We’d especially like to thank Harlequins for their support in allowing Nick to work with us during this time. It’s a great example of club and country working together. Harlequins proved Evans will come back to the club part-time for their Premiership games against Gloucester and Exeter Chiefs which fall during the bye weeks of the Six Nations and that he will return to the club full-time at the end of the Championship.
Harlequins’ director of rugby working Billy Millard spoke: This is an amazing opportunity for Nick, where he will learn and grow so much, which can only be good for the Club. I am also confident he will provide Steve and the playing group with excellent support and direction through the 2023 Six Nations period. While it is a bit of a lazy stereotype to suggest that all Harlequins do is chuck the ball around, Nick Evans can certainly help the England Rugby side entertain the home faithful at Twickenham once again, writes Josh Graham.
The boos that followed Eddie Jones’s side off the field after that chastening defeat to South Africa to round off the Autumn Nations Series proved to be the last sound of the Australian’s reign. However, if Evans can get the men in white firing on all cylinders like the Harlequins attack, which he has honed so well over the years, then the fans are in for a treat. Quins are entertainers and that is something England has been sorely lacking lately. And while results are important, England needs a feel-good factor and Evans could be just the ticket.
It seems to be just a temporary appointment but if the Championship goes well then, you’d think it might be hard for Evans and Quins to resist if the RFU comes calling on a full-time basis. It may also be brilliant news for Marcus Smith’s hopes of starting at fly-half, just as the calls for Owen Farrell to be returned to the No 10 shirt grew louder. It is a tough ask for Evans to walk in the door and shake things up from the off, but he could be the perfect foil for the potentially more sensible old Leicester duo of Borthwick and Sinfield. Only time will tell.
England Rugby World Cup: Steve Borthwick adds Nick Evans to the new England Rugby coaching team
Nick Evans, the former All-Black and mentor to Marcus Smith, has been hired by the England team to sharpen their attack. New boss Steve Borthwick has moved swiftly to build a coaching team, hiring first Kevin Sinfield on defence and now Evans. The 42-year-old Kiwi joins only for the Six Nations and the Rugby Football Union won’t say whether the executive Martin Gleeson has left his role. Worldwide Tickets and Hospitality offers Rugby World Cup tickets for the France Rugby World Cup 2023 at the best prices. Rugby fans can buy Rugby World Cup Final Tickets at exclusively discounted prices.
But England fans will be excited by the appointment of a man who has turned Quins, the 2021 Premiership champions, into one of rugby’s most entertaining teams. More than anyone he has been responsible for bringing out the best in Smith, England’s first-choice fly-half – at least when Eddie Jones was in charge.
Borthwick stated: “Nick brings with him a wealth of different experiences as a player and coach, which will be incredibly valuable to the growth of our squad. I know that Nick understands the pride and responsibility that comes with representing your country. We aim to build an England Rugby team that our nation can be proud of.”
Quins agreed to the short-term composition as England’s Six Nations bye weeks fall on weekends in which they play, facilitating Evans to do both jobs. It’s a great example of club and country working together, Borthwick added. I know our fans will be very thrilled by what Nick can bring to our side. Evans played 16 times for New Zealand, mostly as a fly-half. But for No.10 legend Dan Carter he would have played many more.
Steve Borthwick has made a confident start as England’s head coach, in challenging circumstances. He has set a positive, enthusiastic tone and appointed two assistants, Kevin Sinfield, and Nick Evans one long-term and one as a substitute who have the credentials to help quickly revive the national team. Now, Borthwick is approaching his first major test as a selector at the international level. Here are some of the key issues on the agenda, both in the terms of the squad, he is due to proclaim the next day and the make-up of his starting XV for the Six Nations opener against Scotland on February 4.
Owen Farrell seemed a shoo-in to start at fly-half in the Six Nations, given his arrogant form for Saracens and the fact that Marcus Smith has been out injured since England’s defeat against South Africa at the end of November. Their relationship hadn’t ignited and Borthwick’s mantra about clarity suggests there will be a fly-half at 10 and nowhere else. Farrell is now confronting the threat of a suspension, but this column’s crystal ball shows him being cited for his high tackle on Gloucester’s Jack Clement, but a ban ended in time for him to feature in the Calcutta Cup clash at Twickenham.
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