Eddie Jones only starts work today but reports suggest he has already singled out Bristol forwards coach Steve Borthwick as an essential cog in his backroom staff.
Reports in the Daily Mail, the Independent and the Daily Mirror say the RFU has approached Bristol over a potential move for their forwards coach. Any move would come with a large compensation package given Borthwick only started work at Bristol in October.
Jones knows Borthwick well. He brought the former England captain to Saracens during his tenure there and then ahead of the Rugby World Cup, he drafted in the ex-lock as Japan’s forwards and lineouts guru.
Jones previously said he would meet the current assistant coaches — Mike Catt, Andy Farrell and Graham Rowntree — before deciding on any action but it seems Borthwick is very much in his sights.
For ex-England captain Lewis Moody, he hopes Exeter Chiefs’ director of rugby Rob Baxter will also be a part of Jones’ backroom staff. Baxter has taken the Chiefs from the Championship to the Champions Cup and is a highly regarded coach with an extensive knowledge of the English game.
“The most pressing issue is deciding who the coaching team will be,” Moody told the Press Association. “I imagine that in the back of his head Eddie will have done that already, he just needs to go out and get them.
“He needs to let the current coaches know where they stand. Like any leader, you tend to bring in the people you trust, so I imagine that means Borthwick and Jones. He’ll want those guys and it will be about whether they’re able to get out of their current deals.
“But I’d love to see Rob [Baxter] involved, I like everything he stands for at Exeter where he has done so much despite having fairly scarce financial backing. He’s developed something really strong down there and he might not want to step away from it. Certainly having a Premiership coach who has some real pedigree is important.
“They’d understand the cultural differences and would be able to work better with the clubs. It keeps everything grounded and near to home.”