In Borthwick has the RFU found England’s Gareth Southgate or Steve McClaren? | Gerard Meagher

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RFU chiefs will hope Borthwick brings joy back for players and fans as they cross their fingers he gets a waistcoat for Christmas

England have recently parted company with their first foreign super coach – someone arguably indulged too long and with a tendency to cause his employers unwanted headlines. His replacement is English, less colourful, earnest to a fault and has been on the coaching staff before. Someone who as a coach – in the truest sense of the world – is considered to be at the forefront of the game. Most recently, in their first major job as a No 1, he led his club to a domestic trophy and a European final. Yet there are questions as to whether he has the charisma, the force of personality, for the very top job. The year is 2006 and Steve McClaren has just been unveiled as England manager.

The point to be made here is that, while there is a perception among Rugby Football Union executives that by appointing Steve Borthwick as England head coach they have found their Gareth Southgate, history comes with a stark warning. Context is, of course, everything. Sven Goran Eriksson’s departure was pre-planned, unlike that of Eddie Jones, and McClaren had the unenviable task of taking a job that had already been offered elsewhere. The RFU chief executive, Bill Sweeney, has made clear that the “Second Choice Steve” moniker does not apply to Borthwick.

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Written by Gerard Meagher
This news first appeared on under the title “In Borthwick has the RFU found England’s Gareth Southgate or Steve McClaren? | Gerard Meagher”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.