The England rugby side has a new top dog at the helm, and it’s a head trainer who has been gradually rising to the top following a storied profession both on and off the pitch. Ex-captain of the national team Steve Borthwick has renovated Leicester Tigers over the past few years, taking the Premiership’s most adorned club from also-rans back to the trophy. Now, with just seven months until RWC 2023, he’s been tasked with doing the same for England on the major step.
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The RFU’s dismissal of Eddie Jones was seen as precarious by many, not least since he was hired as the new head coach of his inborn Australia within weeks of his removal. Borthwick’s successive selection seats immediate pressure on the past Bath, Saracens and England forward, with only the Six Nations and a few warm-up games between now and the France Rugby World Cup.
Borthwick’s five-year agreement suggests that he is very much the long-term choice for the future, with defence coach Kevin Sinfield joining him from Leicester’s backroom side. Nick Evans, the ex-Harlequin, has been carried in as attack coach, while Leicester legend Richard Cockerill, forwards coach under Jones since 2021, keeps his room on the staff under the new management.
Only fixed in late December, Borthwick and his squad have surely been thrown in the deep end as they seek to turn England’s form around. Just five wins from 12 in 2022 fee Jones his job, and with the Six Nations first up. England needs to hit the ground consecutively under their new coach if they’re to have any gamble of wrestling the title from France’s grip ahead of the Rugby World Cup 2023 later this year.
Borthwick from England national team captain to RWC head coach
Borthwick was now making his name as a coach while still an active player, and his close bond with Jones, the man he’s swapping in the England bunker, played a huge part. Jones was an official advisor at Saracens when Borthwick joined the club and saw something in Borthwick, hiring him to join the Japan coaching setup in 2012 as a forward’s trainer.
Borthwick continued as Japan’s forwards’ coach alongside Jones for three years, leading up to and including the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England. That competition featured Japan beating two-time world champs in Brighton, perhaps the biggest upset in rugby’s past. When Jones was hired as England coach, Borthwick joined him, again satisfying the role of forwards trainer for five years between 2015 and 2020.
That period saw England win two Six Nations trophies, one Grand Slam, a test series in Australia, and reach the 2019 Rugby World Cup Final. The pack played a vital part in every England triumph over this time, as Borthwick’s stock constantly rise.
Borthwick is best as Leicester Tigers’ head trainer
Borthwick left the England setup following the 2019 RWC to become the new head trainer of Leicester Tigers. The most positive side in the history of the Premiership. However, the club had not won a trophy since 2013 or touched a European final since 2009. Leicester had ended their last two seasons in 11th place, hanging onto Premiership existence by the skin of their teeth and winning just 29 points in 2019-20.
Steve Borthwick returns to England Rugby World Cup 2023 team as an instructor
While Leicester under Borthwick hit heights not seen in nearly an era. Eddie Jones’ 2022 saw his England side hit their poorest run of form since the Australian was first hired in 2015. Winning only two of their five Six Nations games saw them finish third, well behind Grand Slam victors France and runners-up Ireland.
Within 10 days of that loss to South Africa, Jones was fired from his post, with Borthwick rented two weeks later. Returning to the England setup after two wonderful years with Leicester, the new head trainer has less than a year to prepare his side for a France Rugby World Cup campaign, with a hotly-contested Six Nations before that. Worldwide Tickets and Hospitality offers Rugby World Cup 2023 tickets for the France Rugby World Cup at the best prices. Rugby fans can buy RWC Tickets at exclusively discounted prices.
France Rugby World Cup 2023 countdown
Borthwick’s coaching staff have largely escorted him from Welford Road to Twickenham, most mainly Sinfield, who joined the Tigers’ secret side as defence coach in 2021. Former Harlequin Nick Evans comes in as attack trainer, while Richard Cockerill, Leicester’s previous director of rugby who was already on the books as forwards trainer, will be substituted in his post following the Six Nations by Richard Wigglesworth and Aled Davies.
Borthwick and his squad have plenty to work on between now and the RWC 2023, with Scotland’s four tries highlighting the need for well defending in particular. But able with the most well-stocked grades of any nation playing rugby, Borthwick has it well within his controls to launch a charge for splendour.
Under his forerunner, England got to the final at the last RWC in Japan, before being crushed by South Africa. Borthwick now has to help this side find its mojo again and having taken Leicester from the doldrums to champs, England fans will hope Borthwick’s effect stands similar fruit in France.
Japan RWC management looks to overseas referees to advance its rugby managing level
Just as star performers from overseas have enhanced the quality of Japanese domestic rugby, Japan’s League One is hoping to do the same with its arbitrating standards by importing top officials from other countries. Australian Nic Berry, a referee at the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan, verified the kind of unerring ruling and smooth officiating Japan longs for from its native officials in Jan.
It was so good, it felt as if there wasn’t a judge, said Brave Lupus forward Michael Leitch, who managed Japan in the last two RWCs. While the large arrival of high-profile players from overseas has resulted in a better game and a surge in the number of Japanese players on expert contracts, only three of the league’s 17 Japanese arbiters are hired full-time. The refereeing level hasn’t been achieved to catch up with that of the enhanced quality of play.
Japan Rugby Football Union Referee Manager Takashi Harada confessed. Teams protested last season over the values of referees’ decisions, while the time needed for TV match officials’ reviews was also an issue. Berry is one of five overseas referees who have come to Japan this season as part of a plan to develop officiating. There are things you can learn by linking how others work in the same cheap arena.
Harada said hopeful Japanese executives will learn from the visitors’ examples. The JRFU is aiming to have a Japanese referee in the Rugby World Cup for the first time since 1995 and is seeing sending officials leagues foreign for training to help accomplish that goal through fast language skills and game experience. Shuhei Kubo, an assistant referee at the 2019 RWC, hopes the JRFU can make a true promise to achieving its goals.
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