Eddie Jones appoints defence guru

Eddie Jones (AP)
Eddie Jones (AP)

London - Paul Gustard, the defence coach for Premiership champions Saracens, was confirmed in the same role for the England rugby team on Thursday.

He will assist Eddie Jones. Gustard started his coaching career when Jones coached Saracens seven years ago.

Gustard replaces Andy Farrell who, along with attack coach Mike Catt and forwards coach Graham Rowntree, were the assistants under Jones' predecessor, Stuart Lancaster.

They were released on Monday.

Gustard, also the forwards coach at Saracens, enjoyed an 11-year career as a flanker for Leicester, London Irish and Saracens.

"An important part of England going forward is to make sure we keep the traditional and fundamental bits of English rugby in place, and that has always been a strong set-piece, then have a very aggressive defence with Paul Gustard," Jones said in a statement.

"He has overseen Saracens' growth as a team, he has produced an aggressive defence system there, and we are hoping he can do the same for England."

The 39-year-old Gustard will stay with Saracens until the team assembles ahead of the Six Nations in February.

Meanwhile, Jones' designated forwards coach, Steve Borthwick, was in limbo after resigning from second-division leader Bristol this week after the club and the Rugby Football Union became deadlocked in compensation talks.

Borthwick started at Bristol six weeks ago with a contract to the end of next season, and the club has refused to accept his resignation until it receives fair reward for the former England captain from the RFU, which searched for a new national coach saying money was no object.

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