Kevin Sinfield will proceed to problem Steve Borthwick if he believes it’s going to help England’s climb out of the doldrums.
Sinfield will function Borthwick’s quantity two after the teaching brains belief that took the 2022 Gallagher Premiership title to Leicester was given the duty of reversing the decline overseen by Eddie Jones.
While Jones’ administration type was autocratic, England’s new head coach will encourage his most trusted lieutenant to talk his thoughts.
“My job is not to sit here and say ‘yes’ and nod my head. My job is to ensure that the team is in the best possible place,” mentioned the rugby league nice, who will oversee the defence.
“If that means I ask a question for the betterment of the team, Steve’s firmly behind that and wants me to do it. He’s openly asked me to challenge him. I do that respectfully.”
Sinfield, the previous Leeds, England and Great Britain captain, is simply 18 months right into a union teaching profession that now spans two roles and through which he has solely labored below Borthwick.
And, whereas he’s nonetheless making changes following the change in codes, he has been given the room to develop by Borthwick.
“Steve is a very trusting guy and I am too, but my gut feel at the start was that he was a guy who I really wanted to do my best for,” the 42-year-old mentioned.
“I felt like he would support me when things got tough, which is when you really need people. I felt like that, with him, I had that right from the start.
“He knew that I would have some flaws and would make some mistakes and get loads wrong.
“At first I was probably a little bit more thought through because it took me longer than it does now to translate stuff.
“I do think like a union coach, I do, but there remain some elements that are ingrained in me that I’m switching across.
“There are some bits that may be different – not better or worse, just different – and so my suggestions can be a little bit different at times.
“But I always felt like Steve would support me through that and help me out. He’s been incredible, a really good model.”
England’s Six Nations opener towards Scotland is simply 4 weeks away, providing little time to form the crew.
One of the commitments made to gamers in the course of the coaching camps break up between Liverpool and Gloucester final week was that these gamers frozen out by Jones – the likes of Ben Earl and George Ford – begin afresh.
“Steve made a really strong point to the players that, while performances will dictate, everybody who is eligible to play for England will come into consideration,” Sinfield mentioned.