Richard Cockerill to leave England coaching team after Six Nations

Richard Cockerill

Richard Cockerill will leave his role as England’s forwards coach at the end of the Six Nations in order to join Montpellier.

Having first joined the England coaching staff under Eddie Jones in September 2021, Cockerill will finish up in his role with his country once the Six Nations is over.

Cockerill will join Montpellier as forwards coach under Philippe Saint-Andre ahead of the 2023/24 Top 14 season, replacing the outgoing Joan Caudullo.

The former England international admitted that he would have liked to have continued working with his country until the Rugby World Cup, but explained that the timing of his switch to Montpellier would not allow it.

Richard Cockerill on his departure from the England set-up.

“It has been an honour to not only play for my country but to also get the chance to coach England,” Cockerill said.

“Having coached and played in France previously, my family and I always had aspirations to return.  This opportunity presented itself some time ago and it was too hard to turn down personally and professionally.

“It is disappointing not to work with Steve [Borthwick] and the wider team beyond the Six Nations. I had hoped to be able stay for the Rugby World Cup, but the timings weren’t meant to be.

“I will continue to be fully focused on England and this Six Nations campaign, working with this group of players as they begin a new journey together.

“I know how much playing for England means for this group and I look forward to watching them later in the year and seeing just what they can achieve. It’s exciting to see what change has happened so far in such a short period of time.”

Steve Borthwick pays his regards.

England head coach Steve Borthwick paid tribute to Cockerill on the announcement of his departure and thanked him for his efforts.

“Richard has been, and continues to be, an excellent coach and has provided invaluable support and guidance to our players,” Borthwick said.

“You can tell how much pride he had in playing for his country and he has the same pride in working for his country as a coach. I know it was a difficult decision for him to leave and he has our support.

“We will continue to work hard together as a coaching group as we work to help build an England team that gets to where we all want it to be.”

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