Rob Baxter believes it would be "fantastic" if Cumbrian Steve Borthwick's work in the Gallagher Premiership underpins his expected appointment as England head coach.

Carlisle-born Borthwick, a former England forwards coach and ex-England captain, has transformed Leicester since joining them in 2020, masterminding a Premiership title triumph last season.

Australian Eddie Jones was sacked as England boss on Tuesday, less than nine weeks before England's Guinness Six Nations opener against Scotland and just nine months before the World Cup starts.

His seven-year reign came to an end following a Rugby Football Union review of the Autumn Nations Series, which produced defeats against Argentina and South Africa, plus a draw with New Zealand, and 43-year-old Cumbrian Borthwick is the clear favourite to take over.

"If it is Steve - and I don't think any of us have been told - and it has been based on how he has worked through in the Premiership, that for me would be fantastic," Exeter rugby director Baxter said.

"It would show there is a genuine pathway within this country, and there is a general feeling across the board that that is what we are trying to achieve.

"I have always been surprised that you have to have come from an international coaching environment to have the credentials to be able to deal with the difficulties you are going to get thrown on a day-by-day basis.

"You may have to be a different character to deal with the spotlight that gets put on pretty much everything you say and the interviews you do and the selections you make.

"At Exeter, if I make a selection it might get ripped to pieces by 10,000 people. If you make a selection for England it might get ripped apart by a million people.

"That is the challenge, isn't it? The challenge isn't the day to day, it is that bigger environment."

Reflecting on Leicester's Premiership success last term, Baxter added: "There is a simple way of looking at this - teams that are successful tend to enjoy what they do.

"Look at what Leicester achieved last season, and it didn't look like the Leicester players weren't enjoying that success and enjoying what they were doing.

"However Steve wants to coach or lead the team, you will see it in their level of performances whether they are really buying into it and really enjoying it.

"I am not going to sit here and tell you I know how Steve Borthwick coaches, because I don't, and I can't tell you I know anybody in the (Leicester) dressing room, because I don't.

"But at the same time, if you had watched the Leicester guys last season you wouldn't have thought that was a joyless experience those guys were having, would you? That is the indicator of where things are."

Report: Press Association

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