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England confirm coaching ticket to include 4 of Borthwick's Tigers staff

By PA
(Photo by Bob Bradford - CameraSport via Getty Images)

Steve Borthwick has named Tom Harrison as England’s new scrum coach as he finalised his staff for the World Cup.

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Harrison will follow Richard Wigglesworth and Aled Walters in joining the England set-up from Leicester, and is due to start work on June 1.

Wigglesworth will lead the attack coaching and kicking strategy with Walters head of strength and conditioning.

Tony Roques, the England men’s sevens head coach, will work as contact and skills coach, and Kevin Sinfield will continue as defence coach.

Borthwick said: “I am very pleased to confirm the England coaching team for the Rugby World Cup.

“Tom is an excellent coach and will have a real impact in area that will be fundamental to us as a team. Leicester’s scrum is renowned across Europe and Tom has played a leading role in that success. I have full confidence in him and I am very happy that he will be joining England.

“Tony has an extensive background in Sevens and is an experienced, specialist contact and skills coach. Individual skill emphasis will be an important part of our work. Having worked alongside him in the 2019 campaign, I know what a good coach he is and he will really contribute to the team.

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“Richard has a proven track record as a player and a player coach, and you can see what an excellent job he has done as head coach of Leicester Tigers in the past few months.

“He has played at Rugby World Cups and has coaching experience in 2019, and understands the unique demands of the tournament and the support that players need. He knows a lot of the players very well and will bring different insights to the coaching team.”

Speaking about Harrison, Leicester Tigers Chief Executive Officer Andrea Pinchen said: “Since coming into Leicester Tigers, Tom has been an exceptional contributor to the club on and off the field.”

“While obviously disappointed to be losing him at the end of the season, we wish him all the very best for this next chapter in his career.

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“Tom is a great reflection of our club’s ability to produce coaches as well as players through the pathway programme at Leicester Tigers and while it has been another challenge for us this year, with coaches being poached by the national side, we continue to see it as a badge of honour for the level at which we are viewed within the game.

“While we are confirming this news now, the campaign is not complete this season and Tom is committed to finishing his time at the club in the hard working way that he has demonstrated throughout the six years at Leicester Tigers.

“This is not a surprise to us and the work has been done in the background to ensure we have a top quality replacement for Tom and coaching team led by Dan McKellar next season, which we will announce in the summer.”

Speaking about the decision, Harrison said: “This was a really tough decision for me but, at this time in my career, I feel it’s the right one and am excited about the opportunity.”

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Leicester Tigers and the chance to work with all the players I have had the privilege to coach during the past six years.

“To have played a part in the careers of so many young men during the first few years and then to have been the senior scrum coach at the club in the past three seasons has been a fulfilling, great experience.

“The experience of working as part of the coaching teams I have been a part of at all levels at Leicester Tigers has been wonderful and I am eternally grateful to each and every coach for what I have learned from them and the memories I will take with me.

“I am excited for what is to come with England but, for now, there is still a lot of work to be done this season and I will be giving my all until the end of our campaign together at Leicester Tigers.”

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