Steve Borthwick mulls further coaching appointments as England overhaul continues

England’s new head coach could still be looking to add two new faces to his line-up ahead of next month’s Six Nations opener against Scotland.

Saracens’ Ian Peel will be considered as a potential addition as a Scrum Coach. And Northampton’s Sam Vesty will be an option to play an attack-based role.

Matt Proudfoot, Brett Hodgson and Danny Kerry have all left the England backstage team. Forwards coach Richard Cockerill and attacking specialist Martin Gleeson currently remain in the England roster but further changes could still be considered.

Proudfoot helped South Africa claim World Cup glory in 2019 before switching allegiance to England under Eddie Jones.

Hodgson was to replace Anthony Seibold as Jones’ defense coach for the Six Nations, but ultimately never properly started that role. Jones was sacked in early December after England’s worst calendar year since 2008, with Borthwick quickly recruited to replace him.

Borthwick will have just nine Tests to prepare England for the autumn World Cup in France, starting by hosting Scotland at Twickenham on Saturday February 4.

The former England Test captain brought Kevin Sinfield with him as his right-hand man, with the pair leaving Leicester after guiding the Tigers to the 2022 Gallagher Premiership title.

Sinfield’s status as the definitive number two represents a departure from Jones’ approach of maintaining near total control as the head coach rises from his assistants.

The fiercely loyal temperament of Rugby League great Sinfield has found major favor among Leicester players and is expected to have a similar impact at Test level.

Borthwick went out of his way to highlight the importance of pastoral care to his players when he unveiled RFU before the start of the year. And Sinfield warmly echoed that approach during his speech on Tuesday, for the first time since being appointed to England.

The famous high-handed approach of task leader Australian boss Jones paid its first dividends with England but had slipped in the past 18 months.

Borthwick and Sinfield have clearly defined part of their program to meet player duty of care, covering everything from player safety and well-being to mental well-being. Add in a naturally fresh approach to selection, and it’s easy to see how and why England players can be excited about their new bosses.

“For me, national teams in different sports, there were times when players went to camp, and struggled to be there, and couldn’t be themselves,” Sinfield said.

“Steve will show the players how much he cares and he will allow them to be themselves, and the players have understood that for the past two days.”

standard Sport

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