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Paul Gustard considers England assistant coach offer

Published 13/12/2015

Saracens defence and forwards coach Paul Gustard has been offered an England assistant coach role.
Saracens defence and forwards coach Paul Gustard has been offered an England assistant coach role.

Paul Gustard is considering an offer to join the England coaching staff under new boss Eddie Jones.

Saracens rugby director Mark McCall revealed after his team's 45-10 European Champions Cup victory over Oyonnax on Sunday that 39-year-old Gustard had been offered an assistant coach's role.

Saracens' current defence and forwards coach - if he accepts the post - is expected to be joined among Jones' support team by former England captain Steve Borthwick.

Borthwick is currently working with Championship club Bristol, but he assisted Jones during Japan's memorable 2015 World Cup campaign when their three pool stage victims included South Africa.

The Rugby Football Union remain tight-lipped about possible identities of those who will work with Jones, but time appears to have run out for England's World Cup trio Andy Farrell, Graham Rowntree and Mike Catt.

They were head coach Stuart Lancaster's right-hand men during a dismal World Cup when England became a first host nation in the tournament's 28-year history to bow out before the quarter-final stage.

Lancaster paid an inevitable price and departed the RFU last month, with Jones taking over as England's first overseas head coach.

McCall, speaking in France after Saracens recorded a third successive bonus point victory in Champions Cup Pool One, revealed that Gustard had been recently approached about a role in Jones' coaching team.

"Paul has been made an offer to become an assistant coach with England," McCall said.

"He is considering the offer, and I'm sure there will be some dealings between the RFU and ourselves over the next 24-48 hours.

"When there is anything more to add we will announce in due course."

Jones started his job at Twickenham earlier this month after agreeing a four-year contract, and his first game in charge will be the RBS 6 Nations Championship clash against Scotland at Murrayfield on February 6.

Gustard has been an integral part of Saracens' success under McCall, including winning the Aviva Premiership title last season and being a consistent force in Europe.

He played for Leicester during the 1990s, making almost 100 appearances for the Tigers and featuring during the 2001 European Cup final victory against Stade Francais in Paris.

Gustard left Leicester in 2002 too join London Irish, making 98 appearances in four years for the Exiles, then headed to Saracens, where he moved into coaching after his playing days ended.

Jones, meanwhile, was due to attend Sunday's Champions Cup clash between Wasps and Bath at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry, a game featuring several current England internationals.

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