Austin Healey is hopeful that Kevin Sinfield will join Steve Borthwick at England as the two have worked so well together at Leicester Tigers.
Borthwick is expected to be announced as England’s new head coach after Eddie Jones was relieved of his duties after a disappointing 2022, although nothing has been confirmed as of yet.
Jones went through a high number of assistant coaches during his seven years in charge of England, something which has often been attributed as a leading factor in the team’s recent disjointed performances.
Speaking on BT Sport, Healey called on the RFU to appoint Borthwick’s right-hand man in Sinfield, after the two coached Leicester to the Gallagher Premiership title last season.
Austin Healey on Steve Borthwick and Kevin Sinfield.
“I think your number two is actually probably in some ways more important. You think of Shaun Edwards with [Warren] Gatland, you think of Andy Robinson with Clive Woodward,” Healey started.
“The barking dog that sits behind the coach is the guy that drives the energy. Borthwick, if he has been offered the job, let’s just say hypothetically he has, he’s going to take it on his terms.
“Because the last thing you want is a scenario where you’re Eddie Jones and your guys behind you haven’t been there for any period of time or maybe haven’t got the right balance with you.
“It’s clear that Kevin Sinfield and Borthwick work well together. So I think you don’t take one, you take two.”
— Rugby on BT Sport (@btsportrugby) December 18, 2022
England have little time to waste.
Borthwick will have precious little time to stamp his mark on England, with just the Six Nations and four warm up matches to be played before the Rugby World Cup.
Him and Sinfield did manage to turn around Leicester in a short period of time however, as the Tigers finished in 11th place in the Premiership the season before Borthwick came in, before being crowned as champions back in June.
International rugby is a different beast however, although Borthwick isn’t short of experience having acted as an assistant coach under Jones for a total of eight years at Japan and England.