Kevin Sinfield: England defence coach to leave team later this year, says head coach Steve Borthwick

Kevin Sinfield
Kevin Sinfield worked with Steve Borthwick at Leicester before joining him in the England setup
Kevin Sinfield will leave the England coaching team later this year, says head coach Steve Borthwick.

Defence coach Kevin 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.

“Kev is absolutely committed to the team over the next period,” Borthwick said.

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 has moved to coaching individual skills and kicking.

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

“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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