- Paul Gustard joins as Defence Coach
- Jones: "He has produced an aggressive defence system"
Paul Gustard has agreed to join England's coaching staff as Defence Coach.
Gustard will join from Premiership Champions Saracens, where he combines the roles of forwards and defence coach, when the England squad come together for the RBS 6 Nations.
He has been on the coaching staff at Saracens since 2008, having previously spent two seasons at the north London club as a player. He has also previously helped coach England on the tour to Argentina in 2013 when Andy Farrell was with the British and Irish Lions.
“To be given the chance with England is hugely humbling and I am thrilled to be involved," said Gustard. "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.
“This has been a difficult decision to make, but to coach England is an opportunity you just don’t turn down. I have enjoyed ten wonderful years at Saracens, both as a player and as a coach.
“It’s been an incredible journey. I have made some amazing memories as part of such a special group, but there is a very exciting opportunity ahead for me that I’m really looking forward to.
“My focus now is the next six weeks by helping this brilliant playing and coaching group prepare for some important games.”
England Head Coach Eddie Jones said he was pleased to add a quality coach who had achieved some "fantastic" things at Saracens to his team.
"An important part of England going forward is to make sure we keep the traditional and fundamental bits of English rugby in place and that has always been a strong set piece and a very aggressive defence.
"He 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.”
Prior to moving into coaching, Gustard enjoyed an 11-year professional career as a flanker, playing in 173 Premiership games for Leicester Tigers, London Irish and Saracens. He also played at every representative level for England, although remained uncapped for the senior side.