Eddie Jones freshens up England coaching ticket with two new faces
Matt Proudfoot helped South Africa to recent Rugby World Cup success
Matt Proudfoot will join the England coaching staff after being part of Rassie Erasmus’s coaching ticket that helped South Africa win the Rugby World Cup. Photograph: Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images
Ten weeks and three months after South Africa’s pack laid the foundation for World Cup victory over England, Eddie Jones has turned to the Springboks’ forwards coach Matt Proudfoot as he starts counting down to the 2023 tournament in France.
Proudfoot, a South Africa who won four caps as a prop for Scotland, will be responsible for all aspects of England’s forward play. The 47-year-old has replaced Neal Hatley, who is part of Bath’s coaching team, while Steve Borthwick, who is expected to join Leicester after the Six Nations, is given a new role as forwards coach.
Jones has also appointed a new attack coach, Simon Amor, to replace Scott Wisemantel, who is part of the Wallabies’ management team under Dave Rennie. Amor will return to his current job as head of the England Sevens men’s and women’s programme after the Six Nations to prepare for the Olympic Games in Tokyo, before severing his connection with the shorter form of the game.
“The Six Nations is a fresh start for the team so that is how we have approached our coaching staff,” said Jones. “We felt we needed to regenerate the forwards coaching area with Neal moving to Bath. Matt Proudfoot has had an outstanding coaching career to date, culminating in being a World Cup winning coach with South Africa.
“He brings great technical expertise and knowledge having coached in South Africa and Japan and having played in Scotland and South Africa. We feel he can take the forwards to another level and build on the great work Neal and Steve have done over the last four years.”
Proudfoot spent seven years in Scotland after joining Melrose in 1997, qualifying for the national side through a grandfather who was born in Dumfries. He became a scrum consultant with the Stormers in 2009, appointed by Rassie Erasmus, South Africa’s head coach in last year’s World Cup, and had a stint with Kobe Steelers in Japan before becoming part of the Springboks’ management team in 2016.
“England is probably the best team in world rugby to coach,” he said. “Having coached against them you get to respect their identity so to get the opportunity to be part of that is a huge honour.
“I am really grateful to Eddie, the rest of the coaching staff and the Rugby Football Union to be given this chance. It is a decision I take with great humility and responsibility and know there is a huge legacy to live up to. I look forward to taking that challenge on and doing England proud.”
Amor, who played at scrumhalf for Gloucester, Wasps and London Irish, has been with England Sevens since 2013 and is a former performance advisor at UK Sport. He will shape the attack with Jones and Borthwick having responsibility for skills. John Mitchell remains in charge of the defence.
“This opportunity to work at the highest level for my country is something I am incredibly passionate about and I am honoured to be joining Eddie’s coaching team,” said the 40-year old Amor.
“The things I am most excited about are being able to learn in this environment and having an opportunity to help improve some great players and the team. I’m also keen to work closely with the Premiership club coaches, keep improving and getting better myself, further developing what I’ve learned in my career so far.”
Jones believes Amor is a natural replacement for Wisemantel. “We have had our eyes on Simon for a while,” he said. “We used him in the run-up to the World Cup in some training camps. I have been very impressed with his dynamism and his rugby intellect.
“He will bring a fresh view on how we build our attack. We have done some great things under Scott Wisemantel and we will always be forever grateful for the work he did, but we are excited about Simon coming in and what he is going to bring.” – Guardian