England: Eddie Jones backs ‘outstanding’ Steve Borthwick to succeed as his successor

Steve Borthwick and Eddie Jones England 2018 - PA.jpg Credit: Alamy
Steve Borthwick and Eddie Jones England 2018 - PA.jpg Credit: Alamy

Former England head coach Eddie Jones believes the Rugby Football Union made the correct decision in appointing Steve Borthwick as his successor and believes he will be successful in the position.

Borthwick worked under Jones as a forwards coach when he was Japan’s head coach from 2012 to 2015, and the former England second-row reprised the role when Jones took over the reins as England boss at the end of 2015.

Left England role in 2020

In 2020, Borthwick became Leicester Tigers‘ head coach and stayed in that position until he was appointed to succeed Jones at England.

“Steve Borthwick was there until 2020,” Jones told the Guardian. “He then wanted his own career. One of my jobs was to get England to win again, which I did, and also to produce the next head coach.

“So I look back with satisfaction because Steve will do a bloody good job. He’s outstanding.”

Jones also open up about his mistakes which he believes cost him the job. After being appointed as England head coach in 2015, he guided them to a runners-up spot at the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

However, he was relieved of his duties as England coach last month after the Red Rose finished their worst campaign since 2008 as they delivered a losing Test record for the first time since that year, with their 12 matches finishing with six defeats, one draw and five victories.

“I don’t have any regrets, but there were a couple of mistakes, a couple of decisions I probably rushed,” said Jones.

The 62-year-old said poor decisions regarding his assistants was a mistake, and him slamming England’s reliance on the public school system and the type of players it produced seemed to upset the establishment.

“That was one of my mistakes,” he said. “Once you get that group offside you’re in trouble. But diversity is so important and sport’s not sheltered from that.”

He also acknowledged he that he made errors on the field and said: “In 2020, we won the two trophies on offer but were widely criticised because of the style of play. The adjustment to a better style was needed, and I probably didn’t get the evolution right.”

Mulling over offers

Jones also revealed that he is keen to return to the game and is considering two offers.

“I’ve got a couple of good options,” he said.

“I’m getting to the stage of talking contracts so I’ll make a decision in the next couple of weeks.”

READ MORE: England: Nick Evans joins Steve Borthwick’s coaching staff ahead of the Six Nations

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