Steve Borthwick sacks another assistant with replacement already selected - Ruck

Steve Borthwick sacks another assistant with replacement already selected

Fitness coach Jon Clarke has left the England rugby team, paving the way for yet another new hire from Leicester Tigers.

Clarke, a former rugby league player, joined the team in 2018 and played a significant role in England’s journey to the World Cup final.

He then went on to work with the British and Irish Lions on their tour of South Africa in 2021.

According to reports, Aled Walters is expected to take over the position, although it may not happen until the end of the season.

A Rugby World Cup winner in 2019 and Premiership winner in 2022, Walters joined Leicester Tigers as Head of Physical Performance in the summer of 2020 from South Africa’s national coaching team.

The Welsh-born Walters completed a BSc in Physical Education and Sports Science at the University of Loughborough in 2002 followed by an MSc in Strength and Conditioning at the University of Edinburgh before beginning his club rugby career with the Scarlets in 2005.

He moved on to New Zealand to take up the role of Head of Strength and Conditioning at Taranaki in 2009 and in 2011 moved to Australia as Athletic Performance Coach with the ACT Brumbies in Super Rugby.

Aled headed back to the northern hemisphere in 2012 for the start of a six-year stay with Munster Rugby as Head of Athletic Performance and was recruited by the South Africa Rugby Union in 2018.

Richard Cockerill survives…for now

Richard Cockerill, who currently serves as the forwards coach, declined an offer from French club Brive last month and remains in his position for the time being. However, his prospects in the near future are uncertain.

It is also reported that Martin Gleeson – who was attack coach under Eddie Jones – is still officially under contract, but is likely to move on soon. 

Sir Clive Woodward selects England XV to ‘win the Six Nations’

The former England head coach is backing new head coach Steve Borthwick to get England on a roll by calling up the in-form Premiership stars.

“England can absolutely win the Six Nations and the World Cup. The more I think about it, the more excited I am about Steve Borthwick’s appointment as head coach,” wrote Woodward.

“I’m hugely excited for England’s first game with Scotland. Borthwick is in a good position to bring immediate improvement to the team because the pressure is off him and the only way is up after a disappointing last three years.

“Borthwick needs to nail down who he wants in his starting 15, but especially the key positions of 10, 12 and 13. He has to get the culture right.

“I’d like to see form Premiership players like Ollie Hassell-Collins and Ben Earl given a chance and bring a fresh, youthful vibrancy to the England set-up. Since the 2019 World Cup, Jones picked virtually the same players almost regardless of their club form.

“I think that will change under Borthwick and his selection for the Scotland game is an opportunity to really lay down a marker.”

Sir Clive Woodward England XV


  • 15. Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers)
  • 14. Ollie Hassell-Collins (London Irish)
  • 11. Adam Radwan (Newcastle Falcons)

Woodward wrote: “’”There are some serious speedsters in the Premiership and I don’t think Joe Cokanasiga, Jack Nowell and Jonny May are at the top of the pile.

“I’d love to see him pick from guys like Tommy Freeman, Adam Radwan, Cadan Murley and Ollie Hassell-Collins.”

Freddie Steward of England goes over for a try during the Autumn Nations Match between England and Australia at Twickenham on 13 November 2021. Photo: Micah Crook/PPAUK


  • 13. Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs)
  • 12. Manu Tuilagi (Sale Sharks)
Manu Tuilagi of England during the Autumn Nations Match between England and Tonga at Twickenham Stoop on 6 November 2021. Photo: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK