It was announced in recent days that Steve Borthwick will be a part of Eddie Jones’ coaching ticket for England as forwards coach.
The 57 times capped lock was set to join Jones, who was announced as England coach last month after Stuart Lancaster stepped down. The Australian takes over following an impressive World Cup display with Japan, where they beat South Africa, Samoa and USA.
However Borthwick is currently forwards coach with Bristol, and the Championship club are reluctant to let him leave for the national team.
An official club statement read that they have no intention of releasing the 36 year-old from his current contract.
“Bristol Rugby want to make it clear that we have not agreed that Steve Borthwick can leave our employment.
“Steve Borthwick is subject to a recently signed long term employment contract. Bristol Rugby did not give the RFU permission to speak with Steve Borthwick.
“Bristol Rugby will take all reasonable actions as necessary to protect the Club’s position and, therefore, will not be making any further statement at this stage.”
This comes as a spanner in the works early in the Jones regime, and this is likely to rumble on. However, in light of how the RFU bought the former Australia head coach out of his Stormers contract, it is unlikely that they will be stopped if they really want Borthwick.