Rugby-Cockerill to leave England position, Wigglesworth new assistant coach

FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union - Six Nations Championship - England Press Conference - Twickenham Stadium, London, Britain - February 3, 2023 England forwards coach Richard Cockerill during the press conference Action Images via Reuters/Matthew Childs

(Reuters) -England forwards coach Richard Cockerill will leave his role after the end of the Six Nations in March, while Richard Wigglesworth would join the side as new assistant coach, the Rugby Football Union (RFU) said on Tuesday.

The 52-year-old Cockerill will take the same position at French club Montpellier.

Cockerill was the only remaining assistant coach from Eddie Jones's reign after Steve Borthwick succeeded the Australian as head coach in December.

"It is disappointing not to work with Steve and the wider team beyond the Six Nations. I had hoped to be able stay for the Rugby World Cup, but the timings weren’t meant to be," Cockerill said.

RFU also appointed Aled Walters as head of strength and conditioning, with both him and Wigglesworth arriving from Leicester Tigers where Borthwick was the head coach before taking the England job.

"Richard and Aled are two outstanding coaches in their fields who I know very well," Borthwick said.

Both will begin work with Borthwick and the wider coaching team ahead of the 2023 Rugby World Cup starting in September.

Matt Proudfoot left the England coaching team along with Brett Hodgson and Danny Kerry in January, and attack coach Martin Gleeson also departed.

England will face Italy in the Six Nations home at Twickenham Stadium on Sunday.

(Reporting by Tommy Lund in Gdansk, editing by Ed Osmond)

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