England RFU resolve money issue with Bristol for Borthwick

England rugby resolve money dispute with Bristol to allow Borthwick to assist Eddie Jones

England RFU resolve money issue with Bristol for Borthwick

LONDON (AP) -- An embarrassing dispute with second-division club Bristol over money was resolved by the English Rugby Football Union on Saturday, allowing Steve Borthwick to begin work as the national team's new forwards coach.

Borthwick agreed to terms to join Eddie Jones' staff and resigned from Bristol this week, but Bristol refused to release him from his contract until it received what it considered fair compensation.

On Saturday, the RFU said it and Bristol reached an agreement to release Borthwick from his club contract.

The news came hours after Bristol owner Steve Lansdown slammed the RFU for being "totally unprofessional" in recruiting the former England captain and lock.

"We very much appreciate that our approach for Steve has come at a challenging time for Bristol during the season, and in such circumstances I thank them for reaching this agreement," RFU chief executive Ian Ritchie said in a statement.

Borthwick assisted Jones with Japan for three years, culminating in Japan's first Rugby World Cup wins at the recent tournament in 24 years.

After the Cup, Borthwick was contracted by Bristol for 18 months, but left within weeks to rejoin Jones. Bristol was happy for Borthwick, but not with the RFU's offers of recompense.

"They think they can ride roughshod over everybody, but they are finding out they can't," Lansdown told BBC Radio Bristol on Saturday. "I can't believe that the governing body has acted in such a way. It is totally unprofessional. I don't think the RFU have covered themselves in any form of glory whatsoever."

Hours later, an agreement was in place. Borthwick replaces Graham Rowntree, who was sacked this week.

Saracens defence coach Paul Gustard signed on as England defence coach on Thursday.

Updated : 2021-04-17 22:03 GMT+08:00