Footage of Borthwick’s enraged touchline clash forces Test coaches into hiding
Steve Borthwick was announced as England’s new head coach today, bringing his assistant coach at Leicester Tigers Kevin Sinfield with him.
The former England captain arrives off the back of a victorious Gallagher Premiership campaign with the Tigers and with years of experience in Test rugby working under Eddie Jones. He also brings with him a ruthless drive to win and fiery temper on the touchline, as Bristol Bears director of rugby Pat Lam found out in June 2021.
The touchline altercation between the pair was over prop John Afoa, who Lam was trying to bring onto the field to replace his yellow carded substitute Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro. However, Borthwick protested, claiming Lam had previously said that Afoa was injured, which would have meant uncontested scrums and Bristol losing another player as a result (just like Ireland vs Italy in the Six Nations this year).
A furious Borthwick had to actually be held back by referee Ian Tempest before Afoa did enter the field of play and Bristol managed to hold on for the win.
Take a look a the altercation:
We’ve never seen anything quite like this…
Bristol Bears’ replacement tight-head prop was shown a yellow card with no time left.
Jon Afoa had previously come off as a ‘tactical’ sub, but tensions rose over his return as both coaches got involved. pic.twitter.com/O8afakCVK7
— Rugby on BT Sport (@btsportrugby) June 5, 2021
Steve Borthwick said after being appointed England coach: “I’m deeply honoured to be appointed England head coach, and I am very excited by the challenge.
“The English game is full of talent and I want to build a winning team which makes the most of our huge potential and inspires young people to fall in love with rugby union the way I did. I want the whole country to be proud of us and to enjoy watching us play.
“The hard work starts now and planning for the Guinness Six Nations and Rugby World Cup begins today. I will give it everything.”
Sinfield said: “It is a special moment to join England as a coach. I know what representing your country means and to get the chance to do it as a coach is a real honour.
“There is so much player talent in England and I am really looking forward to working with the wider squad of players to see what we can achieve together, especially with such a massive year ahead of us.
“I’d like to thank everyone at Leicester Tigers, the players, staff and supporters, for welcoming me to the club. I’ve loved my time there and wish them all the best for the rest of the season.
“I’m looking forward to getting started and there’s no better opening campaign than the Guinness Six Nations.”