England forwards coach Steve Borthwick appears to have found his post-Rugby World Cup landing spot back in the Premiership with Leicester Tigers and what’s more – it’s set to be a senior role.
The Welford Road outfit had been criticized in recent years for lacking the forward grunt traditionally associated with the no-nonsense club.
With that in mind, Tigers have aggressively recruited to their pack over the summer with the signing of Puma’s Tomas Lavanini, Hanro Liebenberg, Calum Green, 149kg Nephi Leatigaga and Jordan Taufua, as well as Jaco Taute and Noel Reid in the backs.
RugbyPass understands that the former Saracens lock is set to take up a senior role with the storied club, who are looking to bolster their forward IP after a number of disappointing Gallagher Premiership campaigns.
While it is unclear exactly what role Borthwick will take, it is hard to imagine the former England captain not having some degree of a hands-on role with the forwards, whatever his title may be.
Borthwick remained coy when quizzed about the move 10 days ago in Japan. “We discussed that a couple of weeks ago didn’t we?,” said Borthwick. “I’m clearly contracted to the RFU beyond the World Cup. That’s been confirmed several times and there’s nothing I can really add beyond that.”
Leicester Tigers refused to comment on the move when a statement was requested by RugbyPass.
A Director of Rugby position at the club would allow current head coach Geordan Murphy to save face while allowing Borthwick to further his own coaching career after a successful stint with Eddie Jones’ England.
Alternatively, Murphy could opt for a DoR role himself, with Borthwick slotting in as head coach.
Considerable pressure was heaped on Murphy (41), who took the reigns at Welford Road following the sudden exit of Matt O’Connor just one week into the regular season.
Towards the end of the season, with Tigers on the verge of relegation, veteran coach Mike Ford was parachuted into the club in a consultancy role. In July that role was revised to that of attack coach.
Current forwards coach Mark Bakewell arrived at Tigers in February 2018 with more than 20 years of experience as a coach.
Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.Sign Up Now