Bristol Rugby are considering legal action against the RFU after their forwards coach was announced as a new England deputy without the club’s consent.
Steve Borthwick was named as the latest appointment by the England team. But Bristol Rugby reacted angrily, saying no contact had been made with them and refusing his resignation.
In a strongly-worded statement the Championship club threw into doubt the move for Borthwick, 36, a former captain of England, whose contract at Bristol expires at the end of next season.
The statement read: “Steve Borthwick has today indicated to the club that he wishes to join the RFU coaching team. Bristol Rugby want to make it clear that we have not agreed that Steve Borthwick can leave our employment.
“Steve Borthwick is subject to a recently signed long-term employment contract. Bristol Rugby did not give the RFU permission to speak with Steve Borthwick.
“Bristol Rugby will take all reasonable actions as necessary to protect the club’s position and, therefore, will not be making any further statement at this stage.”
It is believed the coach, who would be joining former colleague with Japan, Eddie Jones, in the England set up, walked out on the club on Tuesday and left Bristol Rugby and the RFU to discuss the move.
He said on Tuesday as the move was announced: “This is a huge honour to be asked as these chances don’t come around often.
“We have an exciting group of players in England and I am really looking forward to the challenge and getting England beating the best teams in the world.”
Borthwick and Jones worked together as coaches for Japan, who trained on College Green this year, until 2014, when Borthwick left.
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