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England coaching shake-up sees Proudfoot join from Boks

LONDON (AP) — England hired one of the key coaches behind South Africa’s run to the Rugby World Cup title as part of a shake-up of the backroom staff under head coach Eddie Jones. Matt Proudfoot will become forwards coach for England after his contract with the Springboks expired at the end of last year following the World Cup in Japan.

Proudfoot is a former Scotland prop who was born in South Africa and has coached in his native country as well as in Japan. “He brings great technical expertise and knowledge having coached in South Africa and Japan and having played in Scotland and South Africa,” Jones said. “We feel he can take the forwards to another level.”

The move sees Steve Borthwick, the previous forwards coach under Jones, switch to become skills coach. “It is a decision I take with great humility and responsibility and know there is a huge legacy to live up to,” Proudfoot said. “I look forward to taking that challenge on and doing England proud.”

“England is probably the best team in world rugby to coach,” Proudfoot added. “Having coached against them, you get to respect their identity so to get the opportunity to be part of that is a huge honor and privilege.”

Another arrival to the coaching staff is Simon Amor, who leaves his role as head coach of the England Sevens team to become attack coach under Jones. “We have had our eyes on Simon for a while,” Jones said. “We used him in the run-up to the Rugby World Cup in some of our training camps. I have been very impressed with his dynamism, his rugby intellect and he will bring a fresh view on how we build our attack.”

Amor will return to his role as head coach of England’s and Britain’s Sevens teams after the upcoming Six Nations to continue with Olympic preparations before taking up his new position on a full-time basis after the Tokyo Games.

John Mitchell stays on as defense coach. England lost in the World Cup final to South Africa in November.

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