If the RFU take the decision to sack Eddie Jones and appoint Leicester Tigers boss Steve Borthwick to the role of England Head Coach – as currently circulating rumours indicate – a huge pay-out will be owed to Welford Road to buy Borthwick out of his existing contract with the club.
Jones will be meeting with the RFU today after a disappointing Autumn Nations series campaign and a decision on his future is expected to be made swiftly.
Borthwick, who represented England on 57 occasions as a player, has proved himself to be a coach of significant ability, having taken Leicester to the Premiership title last season. He was also in charge of the England forwards from 2015-2020. Understandably, the Tigers are not keen on letting him go.
Borthwick also has a solid reputation amongst English players, as evident from the words of flyhalf George Ford:
“I have obviously been coached by him at England and at Leicester, and he is one of, if not the best, coaches around. The way Steve gives us a plan, and then the way we go about it and practise it in the week. When you go out on game-day, you feel so ready to go and play and win.”
England loosehead Ellis Genge also indicated his admiration for Borthwick.
“He is very straight up and down,” Genge said. “There is no beating around the bush. He is just an honest bloke. He has got his morals and stuff, which we all really respect.”
It would be an unexpected role of the dice to replace Jones at this point in time with the World Cup waiting around the corner. What will surely be the deciding factors is whether or not he has lost the faith of his players. Should it be determined that that possibility has indeed transpired, his chances of retaining the role will almost certainly be squashed.