England appoint former Hull FC boss Brett Hodgson as defence coach

England have appointed former Hull FC boss Brett Hodgson as the successor to Anthony Seibold as defence coach.

The announcement comes in the wake of England’s shock 30-29 defeat by Argentina but the change will not take place until after the Autumn Nations Series.

Seibold is returning to Australia’s National Rugby League at the end of the series after being appointed head coach of Manly Sea Eagles and England boss Eddie Jones has opted to stick with an Australian rugby league man to marshal his team’s defence.

Jones said: “I’ve known Brett for a few years now. He first visited us in Bristol in 2018 and I’ve been to Hull on a few occasions.

“He was an outstanding league player and he’s a talented, hard-working young coach who is developing.

“He will continue the good work that Anthony Seibold has done since he joined us.

“We are disappointed to lose Anthony but we are really pleased for him as a career move. It’s great to see assistant coaches move on to head-coach roles.

“Anthony leaves with everyone at England Rugby’s thanks and we wish him all the best in his new role.”

England Captains Run – Twickenham
England head coach Eddie Jones (pictured) has maintained the link with rugby league by appointing Brett Hodgson as defence coach (Steven Paston/PA)

Hodgson has joined up with the wider staff at Pennyhill Park, Bagshot, where England are preparing for Saturday’s game against Japan at Twickenham and will shadow Seibold in the upcoming weeks.

Hodgson enjoyed a distinguished playing career as a full-back, making more than 200 appearances in the NRL before moving to England where he won the prestigious Man of Steel award with Huddersfield in the Super League.

He also led Warrington to Challenge Cup glory at Wembley before moving into coaching in 2013 with Hull and Widnes. He subsequently rejoined his old club Wests Tigers before returning to England as Hull head coach in 2020.

Hodgson, who was sacked after two disappointing seasons in charge of Hull, said: “I’m really excited about the opportunity to join with England, especially in a Rugby World Cup year.

“I’m really looking forward to working with the staff and this group of players. There is some real talent here and it’s something I feel I can make a contribution to in helping this team succeed.”

England Captains Run – Twickenham
Anthony Seibold (right) is returning to the NRL (Steven Paston/PA)

Seibold said: “It has been a tremendous experience working for one of the world’s best coaches in Eddie Jones and with the England Rugby team over the last 16 months. The mentorship that Eddie has given me is something I will take forward into my next role.

“The relationships I have developed with both staff and players alike has created many fond memories with the series winning tour to Australia a real coaching highlight.

“The players have been a wonderful group of men to work with and I will watch with great interest their growth over the next 12 months as they head towards success at the Rugby World Cup in France.”