New England boss shares thoughts on Eddie's Wallabies job
REACTION: England boss Steve Borthwick said he was “delighted” to see his predecessor Eddie Jones appointed as Australia head coach.
Jones’ second stint in charge of his native Wallabies was confirmed just hours before Borthwick announced his first squad as England coach ahead of their Six Nations opener against Scotland on February 4.
Borthwick, a former England captain, cut his teeth as a coach while working under Jones when the 62-year-old was in charge of Japan and then England.
But, having guided Leicester to last season’s Premiership title, Borthwick found himself succeeding his mentor when Jones was sacked last month after presiding over England’s worst year since 2008.
“I’m delighted with him going to coach his home country,” Borthwick told reporters at Twickenham.
“The day I was announced as England head coach he sent me a message wishing me the very best.
“And so I’ve sent him a message wishing him the very best.”
Jones’ first stint in charge of Australia, from 2001-2005, saw him take the Wallabies to the 2003 World Cup final, where they were beaten by England.
And his time with England also included a 2019 World Cup final loss to South Africa.
England and Australia could meet in the quarterfinals of this year’s World Cup in France, with the Rugby Football Union having decided against inserting a clause into Jones’ contract barring him from working with another country at the tournament.
Borthwick, however, had no concerns about the prospect of Jones using any ‘inside knowledge’ gained from seven years as England coach against his former employers.
“I know the World Cup is around the corner but in 19 days’ time we play Scotland and that’s going to be our focus,” he said.
“It [Jones’ appointment by Australia] is nothing to do with me. My job is to coach the England rugby team, that’s what I’m interested in.”