Steve Borthwick: RFU and Bristol reach agreement for his release

Steve Borthwick
Steve Borthwick won 57 England caps from 2001 to 2010

The Rugby Football Union has reached an agreement with Bristol to release coach Steve Borthwick from his contract with the Championship club.

Borthwick, 36, will link up with new England head coach Eddie Jones after agreeing terms earlier this week.

In a statement, the RFU said that he would start work "with immediate effect" as England forwards coach.

Bristol owner Steve Lansdown had claimed the RFU were "totally unprofessional" in their approach.

He had accused them of trying to "ride roughshod over everybody" while the club reluctantly agreed to negotiate a compensation package for the 36-year-old.

Ian Ritchie, RFU chief executive said: "We very much appreciate that our approach for Steve has come at a challenging time for Bristol during the season, and in such circumstances I thank them for reaching this agreement."

Borthwick, a former England captain, had handed in his resignation despite agreeing a long-term contract with Bristol following the World Cup.

The RFU had then released a statement saying Borthwick would work for Jones as forwards coach, even though there was no agreement in place with the Championship leaders.

Steve Lansdown
Alongside Bristol City, Steve Lansdown is also majority shareholder at Bristol Rugby and his umbrella company, Bristol Sport

Chris Booy, Bristol Rugby Chairman said: "On behalf of the club we wish Steve Borthwick the very best with England and we are pleased that we can move on and begin the process to recruit a new coach as quickly as possible."

Premiership side Northampton have also taken issue over the RFU's approach for backs coach Alex King, with Saints boss Jim Mallinder saying the club have been "kept in the dark".

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