Friday 20 October 2017

Doubt hangs over Borthwick's England role

Forwards coach Steve Borthwick is at the centre of a row between Bristol and the England squad
Forwards coach Steve Borthwick is at the centre of a row between Bristol and the England squad

England are in dispute with Bristol over the release of Steve Borthwick with governing body and club issuing conflicting statements over the forwards coach's appointment to the staff of Eddie Jones.

Little over an hour after the English Rugby Football Union had announced Borthwick as the first backroom arrival of Jones' regime, Bristol declared that the former Red Rose captain had not been granted permission to leave.

England have grown frustrated at the difficulty in agreeing Borthwick's release from his contract at Ashton Gate, with the Championship club - bankrolled by billionaire owner Steve Lansdown - believed to be seeking a large six-figure sum in compensation.

The result is a frustrating stand-off and the RFU is understood to have explored numerous options in the hope of securing Jones' right-hand man with Japan at this autumn's World Cup.

Borthwick submitted his notice on yesterday in an attempt to force his departure and a stand-off has ensued which it is hoped will be brought to a conclusion by the end of the week.

''The RFU can announce Steve Borthwick has agreed to join Eddie Jones' coaching staff," an RFU statement yesterday read but Bristol responded by saying: "He (Borthwick) is subject to a recently signed long-term employment contract and we did not give the RFU permission to speak with Steve Borthwick."

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport