"Former Ireland star" - RFU's shortlist to replace Steve Borthwick in 2027 includes surprise names - Ruck

“Former Ireland star” – RFU’s shortlist to replace Steve Borthwick in 2027 includes surprise names

Steve Borthwick’s debut as the head of the England rugby team got off to a disastrous start, with a shocking defeat to Scotland at Twickenham in early February.

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Despite the initial setbacks, the team managed to secure only two victories and suffered two defeats, resulting in a disappointing fourth-place finish in the 2023 Six Nations.

However, Borthwick has successfully turned things around, guiding England to the quarter-finals of the 2023 Rugby World Cup. Despite this improvement, speculation is rife about the possibility of Borthwick being replaced ahead of the 2027 Rugby World Cup in Australia.

Bookmakers are currently offering odds on four potential coaches who could step in if Borthwick is relieved of his duties.

While the Rugby Football Union (RFU) is publicly expressing full support for Borthwick, they are also keeping a close watch on potential replacements for the former England lock in the future.

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Who could replace Steve Borthwick at Twickenham?

4. Rob Baxter – 12/1

Rob Baxter, who guided the Devon-based club from the Championship to European champions in 10 years has done this largely with a core of players that have come through the academy at Exeter.

With this season’s club performance not at the level of previous years, it may be time for him to move on and into the Test game in the near futuree.

Although Baxter joined the England coaching team for the summer tour to Argentina and Uruguay in March 2013, he has no experience outside of Exeter. “I would be happy to have a chat about what the role is, how they see it working and what their plans and ambitions are,” Baxter said of the England job back in December.

“Unless you know what it is, it’s hard to say yes or no to anything. At the same time, I’m not looking for another job! I’m very happy here,” he added.

Rob Baxter, Director of Rugby of Exeter Chiefs looks dejected after losing during the Gallagher Premiership Rugby Match between Bristol Bears and Exeter Chiefs at Ashton Gate on 20 May. Photo: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK