Rugby Union media critical of Kevin Sinfield after England defeat

According to reports, Leeds Rhinos legend Kevin Sinfield is set to leave England Rugby Union.

Sinfield moved to Rugby Union in 2021 after three years as Director of Rugby at Leeds.

He joined Leicester Tigers as Defence Coach under Steve Borthwick and was an instant success as the duo guided the Tigers to the Premiership title.

The duo were then appointed by England with Borthwick in charge and Sinfield as Defence Coach.

But after their World Cup semi-final defeat to South Africa, Sinfield is set to be replaced and many of the media in rugby union have taken to picking apart why Sinfield was part of England’s short comings – perhaps an unfair analysis given they were only in the game against highly fancied South Africa for so long because of their defence.

Telegraph Sports have picked apart Sinfield’s time in the role comparing the statistics to that of Anthony Seibold’s time in charge.

The Telegraph said: “Compare England’s defensive statistics for the whole of 2023 with how they fared under defence coach Anthony Seibold in the autumn Tests last year – against Argentina, Japan, New Zealand and South Africa – and the results are unfavourable, conceding an extra try and two more line breaks per game this year under Sinfield.”

They also noted that England conceded 27 points on average per game in the Six Nations.

They also bemoaned a lack of experience:

“Sinfield’s inspirational qualities as noted previously are undeniable, but there were also suggestions that while his defensive messages were always clear, they could be light on technical detail. That is partly linked to the fact that despite Sinfield’s illustrious playing career in rugby league winning seven Grand Finals and two Challenge Cups with Leeds, he joined Leicester in 2021 under Borthwick with limited coaching experience, particularly in rugby union.

“Having previously “never wanted to coach” until he approached that crossroads after three years in an administrative role with Leeds, he was soon at Leicester with Borthwick and winning the Gallagher Premiership title last June, then trying to fix the wreck which was England’s damaged team with only a year to go until the Rugby World Cup. Which meant that both with Leicester and England, Sinfield has been learning as he went along.”