16 Dec 2015

Borthwick signs up with RFU

6:48 am on 16 December 2015

Former captain Steve Borthwick has become new England coach Eddie Jones's first appointment, having agreed to join the national team as forwards coach.

Former England rugby captain Steve Borthwick.

Former England rugby captain Steve Borthwick. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The two men worked together for three years when Jones was in charge of Japan, culminating in the team's impressive World Cup display this year.

The 36-year-old former Bath and Saracens captain won 57 England caps in the decade to 2010, and he played in the 2007 World Cup, when England lost to South Africa in the final.

The completely new coaching staff is expected to include defence coach Paul Gustard, and the the Northampton backs coach Alex King is also in the frame.

Eddie Jones' first game in charge is away to Scotland in the Six Nations Championship on Feb. 6.

Borthwick's current club Bristol is fuming over the appointment.

Just an hour after a Rugby Football Union statement trumpeted Borthwick's appointment, the west country club drew a line in the sand with its own terse comment, making it clear that Borthwick is subject to a recently signed long term employment contract with them.

Borthwick signed for Bristol in October after coaching the Japanese national team with Jones.

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs

We have regular online commentary of local and international sport.