England forwards coach Richard Cockerill to leave and join Montpellier after Six Nations

Richard Cockerill. Picture courtesy of @MHR_officiel on Twitter

Richard Cockerill will leave his role as England’s forwards coach after the culmination of the Rugby Union Six Nations tournament.

Cockerill, aged 52, has been appointed into a similar role at French club Montpellier.

Saracens forwards coach Ian Peel is reportedly expected to replace Cockerill.

Cockerill is the only coaching survivor from the Eddie Jones era after Matt Proudfoot, Brett Hodgson and Martin Gleeson departed in the wake of the Australian’s sacking in December.

The former England hooker joined the staff in September 2021, at which point he said it was “an honour” to have played for and coached his country.

Cockerill won 27 England caps in his playing career and was briefly interim head coach following Jones’ sacking.

He has previously been head coach of French side Toulon and “always had aspirations to return” to work in the Top14.

Cockerill said: “This opportunity presented itself some time ago.

“It is disappointing not to work with Steve and the wider team beyond the Six Nations.

“I had hoped to be able to stay for the Rugby World Cup, but the timings weren’t meant to be.

“I will continue to be fully focused on England and this Six Nations campaign, working with this group of players as they begin a new journey together.

“It’s exciting to see what change has happened so far in such a short period of time.”

Borthwick has described Cockerill as “an excellent coach” and added: “It was a difficult decision for him to leave and he has our support.”

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Written by

Simon Smedley

Reporter - Euro Weekly News