Steve Borthwick appoints Tom Harrison as new England scrum coach in pre-Rugby World Cup reshuffle | Rugby union news

Borthwick finalizes coaching staff for Rugby World Cup in September; Tom Harrison joins as scrum coach following successful stint in same role at Leicester Tigers; Rugby league legend Kevin Sinfield continues as defense coach after backroom reshuffle

Last Updated: 07/05/23 1:10pm

England rugby union head coach Steve Borthwick (PA Images)

England rugby union head coach Steve Borthwick (PA Images)

Steve Borthwick has named Tom Harrison as England’s new scrum coach as he finalized his staff for this autumn’s Rugby World Cup.

Harrison will follow Richard Wigglesworth and Aled Walters in joining the England set-up from Leicester Tigers, and is due to start work on June 1.

Wigglesworth will lead the attack coaching and kicking strategy, with Walters head of strength and conditioning.

Tony Roques, the England men’s sevens head coach, will work as contact and skills coach, and Kevin Sinfield will continue as defense coach.

The appointment of Tigers assistant coach Harrison is the eye-catching one. He was part of the coaching team that won the Gallagher Premiership under Borthwick last season, along with Wigglesworth and Walters.

Borthwick said: “I am very pleased to confirm the England coaching team for the Rugby World Cup.

“Tom is an excellent coach and will have a real impact in area that will be fundamental to us as a team. Leicester’s scrum is renowned across Europe and Tom has played a leading role in that success. I have full confidence in him and I am very happy that he will be joining England.”

Harrison becomes the latest Leicester coach to become part of Borthwick’s team, as England look to improve their work in the scrum following a disappointing Six Nations campaign.

Borthwick is confident he will fit in well with outgoing Tigers interim head coach Wigglesworth and Walters in the England setup.

Leicester Tigers' scrum coach Tom Harrison has joined the England setup

Leicester Tigers’ scrum coach Tom Harrison has joined the England setup

“Richard has a proven track record as a player and a player coach,” he said. “You can see what an excellent job he has done as head coach of Leicester Tigers in the past few months. He has played at Rugby World Cups and has coaching experience in 2019, and understands the unique demands of the tournament and the support that players need.

“He knows a lot of the players very well and will bring different insights to the coaching team. Along with Kevin and Aled, I am pleased with the balance and wide range of experience that the coaching staff will have.

“We know this World Cup will be highly competitive, but we are genuinely excited by what this group of coaches and players can achieve in France.”

England start building up for the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France with preparation camps starting in mid-June before playing a pair of Summer Series clashes with Wales, as well as further games against Ireland and Fiji in August.

They will then face Argentina, Japan, Chile and Samoa in Pool D of the tournament itself, with a match against the Pumas on September 9 kicking things off for the runners-up from four years ago.