England defence coach John Mitchell

John Mitchell to lead England ‘A’ instead of Eddie Jones

England defence coach John Mitchell will be the lead for this weekend’s England ‘A’ match against Scotland ‘A’.

The RFU has confirmed the New Zealander will take control of team matters on Saturday at Welford Road, though team selection will still be a ‘collaborative’ decision made by Jones and the coaching staff.

Head coach Eddie Jones said: “Mitch is very good with young players and will pass on his knowledge and experience to this group.
 
“The team selection will be a collaborative decision and Mitch will be in charge on match day.”

Mitchell’s vast coaching résumé has spanned roles in four different continents and is the longest-serving assistant among Jones’ staff.

Appointed by England in 2018, having previously worked under Clive Woodward at the RFU, Mitchell has often been the person sat beside Jones when attending Premiership matches throughout the season.

Mitchell said: “It’s exciting for us to be working with this new group of players and seeing them grow day-by-day.
 
“We have a responsibility to perform as an England team and I’m looking forward to leading this side in an international game against Scotland A.”

Jones has previously spoken about his desire to have England peak at the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France, where his contract will expire at the end of the tournament, and claim a maiden Webb Ellis trophy after being involved in two finals.

As part of his remit upon taking over from Stuart Lancaster in 2016, Jones is expected to groom a number of candidates to be his successor as well as improving the state of English coaches at the top level of the game.

Earlier this month, it was confirmed Jersey Reds backs coach Ed Robinson would be re-joining the set-up after working closely with the staff during the Six Nations.

Nonetheless, Jones has taken it upon himself to oversee England’s attack this summer following the departure of attack coach Simon Amor in May.

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