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The major Six Nations concern for Wales and England ahead of World Cup 2023

Wales and England might regret stepping onto the coaching merry-go-round.

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'I hope he doesn't give away too many of our secrets to the English boys'

By Josh Raisey
The Harlequins Coaches, Nick Evans, Adam Jones, Gareth Tong and Sean Long prior to the Premiership Rugby Cup First Round match between Harlequins and Bristol Bears at Twickenham Stoop on September 20, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images for Harlequins)

Harlequins find themselves in a unique and undesirable position this Guinness Six Nations where not only their players are being scattered to all four corners of the Championship, but they are losing a coach too.


Attack coach Nick Evans has joined Steve Borthwick’s newly assembled England backroom staff on a short-term deal, fulfilling the same role at Twickenham as he does at the Stoop. The former All Blacks fly-half will hold down both jobs over the coming weeks, returning to Quins during the fallow weeks in the Six Nations, and will form an intriguing coaching group alongside Borthwick and Kevin Sinfield.

Evans’ Quins colleague, scrum coach Adam Jones, recently described this combination as “two worlds colliding,” given the way the London side play and the way Leicester Tigers play. Recent history will tell us that both styles work, as the Tigers are the reigning Gallagher Premiership champions, having taken the title from Quins in June, and now the brain trusts of both parties have joined forces.

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Following a visit from reigning World’s Strongest Man, Tom Stoltman, and his brother, former Europe’s Strongest Man, Luke, to Quins’ Surrey Sports Park training centre in association with Reign Total Body Fuel, Jones spoke to RugbyPass about Evans’ new job.

“It’s kind of two worlds colliding, I suppose, the way Leicester play and the way we play, obviously Steve [Borthwick] coming in,” the Welshman said, before elaborating on what the Kiwi will bring to England and equally the challenges he will face. Being a Test centurion, which includes five caps for the British & Irish Lions, the former tighthead is well versed with the rigours and demands of international rugby.

“I think he’s got brilliant detail, he’s got a great eye for things, a great eye for how the opposition defends. I guess the big thing is in international rugby, you’ve obviously got less time and space. There’s a lot more line speed, there’s a lot more physicality than the Premiership. It’ll be interesting to see where it goes.

“It’s a great experience for him, he’ll be class, I just hope he doesn’t give away too many of our secrets to the English boys, so when we come to play them we still have one up on them.”



Quins have the short trip to the GTech Community Stadium this Sunday to play London Irish in the Premiership, and Jones joked how the club are going to cope without their attack coach over the coming weeks. “So I’m going to take over the attack and Jerry Flannery’s going to take over the kicking,” he said.

Having spent at day with the Stoltman brothers, both in the gym and on the training field, Jones got a glimpse of the work that goes into being a two-time World’s Strongest Man, and what can be learned from the brothers.

“They’re unbelievably dedicated, it’s unbelievably professional,” he said.


“It was a great experience and it was brilliant to see the bond between them. Obviously they’re both going for the same goal, and obviously Tom’s got there twice, but then the support he gets on Luke is phenomenal, really.”

“Obviously he wants to be the World’s Strongest Man, but the pride he has in his brother, and how he pushes his brother to be the World’s Strongest Man, and almost coaching him, is something I think a lot of sportsmen could learn from Luke Stotman- about their own support and putting someone else’s goals ahead of you.”

The Stoltman Brothers and Harlequins are sponsored by Reign Total Body Fuel, a zero-sugar performance energy drink. For more information, please visit #MadeItReign


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