Exeter boss Rob Baxter has welcomed Cumbrian Steve Borthwick's appointment as England head coach.

He says it was no surprise that the Carlisle-born coach became the leading candidate to succeed Eddie Jones.

Borthwick has landed English rugby's top job on a five-year contract, taking charge earlier this week.

The 43-year-old masterminded Leicester's Gallagher Premiership title triumph last season.

And he takes over from Jones, who was sacked a fortnight ago - just nine months before the Rugby World Cup starts in France.

Jones presided over England's worst year of results since 2008, managing only five wins from 12 games.

"I am pleased that the RFU (Rugby Football Union) are looking at the Premiership," Baxter said.

"It is a good indicator of the game in general if that is the progress that can happen through the English coaching ranks. I am very pleased for Steve, and I hope he goes very well.

"He has got a lot right at Leicester, both in the coaching and the direction he has given that team.

"They are very aligned in how they play - that's their big strength. Across the board, they buy into what that game-plan is and execute it very well.

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"On top of that, he has - over two or three seasons - refreshed the squad as a whole. He has shown both sides of the coin, really.

"You have got to get your squad right and build it within those restrictions you have, and once you have got that together, you also have to get that direction on the field. He has done those two things very well.

"He has had experience with England before, so I don't think there was any surprise that he became the top candidate."

Borthwick, a former England skipper and forwards coach, won 57 caps and played almost 400 times for Bath and Saracens as an outstanding second-row forward.

He joined Leicester as head coach in 2020, transforming their fortunes from a club in the Premiership's lower reaches to title winners.

His first England game at the helm will be a Guinness Six Nations opener against Scotland on February 4.

Report: Press Association