Gustard to join England staff

Saracens defensive coach Paul Gustard will join Eddie Jones’s England coaching staff in the same role.

Gustard will take up the position in late January after a deal was agreed upon by the RFU for an early release from his contract with Saracens. Having been at the London club for 10 years, his current contract would have retained his services until at least June 2017.

One of Gustard’s most notable contributions was introducing the feared ‘wolfpack’ defence, which has seen Saracens win two Premiership titles in the past five seasons. Jones will be hoping he can do the same with the national side.

‘An important part of England going forward is to make sure we keep the traditional and fundamental bits of English rugby in place. That has always been a strong set piece and a very aggressive defence,’ said Jones. ‘[Gustard] has overseen Saracens' growth as a team. He has produced an aggressive defence system there and we are hoping he can do the same for England.’

Gustard admitted that it was not an easy decision, but an offer he simply could not turn down.

‘I would like to thank Saracens for allowing me to leave and take up this opportunity. I hope that experience will stand me in good stead for this next challenge,’ he said. ‘This has been a difficult decision to make, but to coach England is an opportunity you just don't turn down. To be given the chance [with the national side] is hugely humbling and I am thrilled to be involved.’

Photo: David Jones/Getty Images