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Kevin Sinfield: Steve Borthwick’s England right-hand man chooses ‘different direction’

Kevin Sinfield will leave the England coaching team later this year, says head coach Steve Borthwick.

Kevin Sinfield: Steve Borthwick's England right-hand man chooses 'different direction'
Kevin Sinfield: Steve Borthwick’s England right-hand man chooses ‘different direction’

Sinfield has been Borthwick’s right-hand man since he left Leicester to take up the England job at the end of 2022.

But he will move on from England following the Six Nations and summer tour of Japan and New Zealand.

“Kevin has made a decision to go in a different direction,” Borthwick told BBC Sport.

“He builds such great relationships with players so it’s fantastic he is staying with this team over this period.

“As we have tried to reset this England team over the last 12 months, what Kev has brought can’t be overstated, the enormous amount he has brought to this team.

“It is so valuable he is staying with the team through the Six Nations and the summer so we will continue to maximise every bit he can bring to the team.”

Borthwick has brought in former All Blacks coach Andrew Strawbridge for the Six Nations as part of a reshuffled backroom team.

Felix Jones, who has joined England after winning two World Cups with South Africa, has been confirmed as defence coach.

Sinfield will move from his role with the defence to coach individual skills and kicking for the remainder of his time with England.

England begin their Six Nations campaign against Italy in Rome on 3 February, with Borthwick hoping Strawbridge can bring another dimension to his side’s attacking game.

The Kiwi will act as a coaching consultant for the first four weeks of the Championship.

“Andrew is another coach with a wealth of knowledge,” Borthwick added.

“He has worked extensively and successfully in Super Rugby and international rugby, most recently with New Zealand to help them to the final of the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

“Andrew has an incredible reputation in player development and has helped a large number of players progress to be amongst the best in the world.

“His work around the contact area is incredibly highly regarded, ensuring teams have the quick ball needed to launch a threatening attack.

“I can’t wait for him to join the team and add the enormous value that I know he will bring.”

Borthwick will confirm his England squad for the Six Nations on 17 January.

Jones’ arrival means a change in role for Sinfield, who has been in charge of the England defence since the end of 2022.

“I am tremendously excited to start working with Felix who is a coach with an incredible reputation and with vast experience in international rugby,” said Borthwick.

“With his background in Irish rugby and his wealth of knowledge operating in the southern hemisphere, he will bring a different dimension to our coaching team.”

Richard Wigglesworth will continue to run the England attack, with Tom Harrison overseeing the scrum.

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