Steve Borthwick to join Leicester as head coach after Six Nations

Former Ireland fullback Geordan Murphy moving to the role of director of rugby

England coach Steve Borthwick will join Leicester Tigers as head coach ‘at the end of his international commitments’. Photograph: PA

England coach Steve Borthwick will join Leicester Tigers as head coach ‘at the end of his international commitments’. Photograph: PA

 

Leicester have announced Steve Borthwick is to become their head coach at the end of the season with Geordan Murphy moving to the role of director of rugby.

Borthwick will leave his post as number two to Eddie Jones before the July tour to Japan, meaning the Six Nations clash with Italy on March 14th will be his final game with England.

The 40-year-old former England captain has worked beneath Jones for seven years, first with Japan and since 2016 with the World Cup runners-up. In 2017 he was part of Warren Gatland’s Lions backroom staff.

His primary function has been overseeing the forwards but during the forthcoming Six Nations will be be acting as skills coach before stepping down in June.

“We are delighted to confirm that Steve will be joining us as head coach,” Leicester chairman Peter Tom said.

“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 World Cup final last year.

“He has a wealth of knowledge and experience at the very highest level as player and now as a coach, and has a clear vision of where he wants to take the team. We look forward to welcoming him on board.”

Former Ireland and Leicester fullback, Murphy has operated as Leicester’s head coach for the past year but the Tigers are struggling for a second successive season and would be locked in a relegation battle were Saracens not being automatically demoted to the Championship for salary cap breeches.

“The appointment of Steve as head coach and Geordan in the role of director of rugby provides an exciting combination of leadership, expertise and experience to drive the club forward in its desire to challenge for major honours again,” Tom said.

“The club has enjoyed many of its greatest successes with a blend of the Tigers DNA alongside fresh, innovative ideas from outside, both among the players and the coaching staff, and we look forward to Geordan and Steve leading that in their respective new roles.”

It will be hoped that Borthwick can restore Leicester’s reputation as a pack to be feared and reverse their ongoing decline up-front.

“The last four-and-a-half years working with the England team has been an incredible journey,” former Bath and Saracens lock Borthwick said.

“I have worked with some brilliant players and staff. In particular I would like thank Eddie Jones.

“To have worked with one the greatest head coaches in the world for so long has been an unbelievable experience.

“I am delighted to be joining Leicester Tigers as head coach. The Tigers have such a long and successful history, and are one of the greatest rugby clubs in the game.”

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