May 26, 2024

Kevin Sinfield, currently England’s defense coach, will leave his position within Steve Borthwick’s coaching staff after the upcoming summer tour to New Zealand. Borthwick has announced a reshuffling of his coaching team in preparation for this year’s Six Nations, with Sinfield transitioning to the role of skills and kicking coach before his eventual departure later in the year.

Andrew Strawbridge, renowned for his contributions as a skills expert with the All Blacks during the 2023 Rugby World Cup, will serve as a consultant for the first four weeks of the Six Nations, overseeing various aspects of the team. Felix Jones, an Irish coach with back-to-back World Cup victories with South Africa, will take over Sinfield’s role as defense coach. The future plans and challenges for Sinfield are currently unknown to Borthwick.

The roles of Richard Wigglesworth (attack) and Tom Harrison (scrum) will remain unchanged. Borthwick expressed uncertainty about Jones’s specific duties, hinting that his influence might extend beyond defensive responsibilities, similar to Strawbridge’s versatile role.

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Borthwick explained that Sinfield made the decision about his future plans after reflecting on the World Cup and that his contributions in the past 12 months have been invaluable to the team. Sinfield’s new role will focus on catch-pass skills with kickers and goalkickers.

Felix Jones’s addition is seen as a valuable enhancement to the coaching team, bringing extensive international experience from his time with South Africa. Borthwick emphasized the diverse knowledge within the coaching team, combining expertise from the Premiership, European rugby, the Irish system, and the South African system.

Andrew Strawbridge, having previously coached in New Zealand with North Harbour and Auckland, and having been part of the New Zealand Under-20s coaching staff, is anticipated to contribute significantly with his wealth of knowledge. Borthwick praised Strawbridge’s success in Super Rugby and international rugby, highlighting his expertise in player development and the contact area, which is expected to benefit England’s attacking strategies. Borthwick expressed excitement about Strawbridge joining the team and contributing valuable insights.

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