Steve Borthwick eager to keep up with Joneses in Japan
Former captain of England is upbeat over his new post as forwards coach alongside mentor
Ex-England captain Steve Borthwick has said he is looking forward to working with former Wallaby boss Eddie Jones on a full-time basis when he becomes the forwards coach of Japan following his retirement.
The 34-year-old lock will finally hang up his boots and call time on 16 years of top-flight rugby after leading Saracens against Northampton in the English Premiership final at Twickenham on Saturday.
Borthwick spent a decade with Bath before current Japan coach Jones, then in charge of Saracens, brought him to the north London side in 2008.
The veteran forward helped coach Japan last year for two tests against Wales culminating in a 23-8 win - their first victory over the principality - in Tokyo.
"[Saracens] is incredibly supportive of giving players opportunities to develop their interests after playing rugby," said Borthwick, who will team up with former Hong Kong coach Leigh Jones, now defence coach of Japan.
"For the last couple of years Eddie gave me an opportunity to be involved with the Japan rugby team and that relationship has grown. He then asked me to join the team full-time once I retired from playing.
"It was an opportunity to work under a fantastic coach like Eddie Jones and learn, which has already been great for my development," added Borthwick, who won 57 England caps. "While I'll no longer be on the field myself, to assist players in their own development, that appeals to me."
Last weekend Japan qualified for next year's World Cup in England by beating Hong Kong 49-8 and Borthwick insisted the "Brave Blossoms" were going places. "I think the group is an exceptionally ambitious, hard-working group eager to learn."
Japan are also due to stage the 2019 World Cup, the first time the tournament will have been played outside one of rugby union's traditional strongholds.