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'I'm delighted for Eddie that he is coaching his home country'

By PA
Eddie Jones (R) the head coach looks on with skills coach Steve Borthwick during the 2020 Guinness Six Nations match between England and Ireland at Twickenham (Photo by David Rogers - RFU/The RFU Collection via Getty Images)

Steve Borthwick insists his focus is on Scotland and not a potential World Cup collision course with Eddie Jones after his coaching mentor was placed in charge of Australia.

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Borthwick and Jones could go head to head in the quarter-finals, creating a fascinating sub plot to the tournament being staged in France later this year.

Jones was sacked by England last month after presiding over a dismal 2022 and has been replaced by Borthwick, his former number two with Japan and at Twickenham.

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In a twist of fate the Rugby Football Union must have been dreading, Jones has been contracted by the Wallabies until the 2027 World Cup.

Borthwick, however, is concentrating only on the Six Nations opener against Scotland after naming his first squad since succeeding Jones.

“I know the World Cup is around the corner but in 19 days’ time we play Scotland and that’s our focus,” Borthwick said.

“I’m delighted for Eddie that he is coaching his home country. The day that I was announced as England head coach he sent me a message wishing me the very best and this morning (Monday) I sent him a message wishing him the very best.”

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When asked if he had preferred Jones to take another role, Borthwick said: “Nothing to do with me, my job is to coach the England rugby team.

“I’ve talked about the team we wish to build. Every England supporter wants to see an England team that plays with courage and fight in every single contest and that finds a way to win. It’s our job to coach that team.”

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