Booth should be next England coach, says London Irish forward Thorpe
Toby Booth is the ideal man to take over the reins of the England side after the Six Nations, according to his coaching protege at London Irish.
Interim coach Stuart Lancaster remains the favourite for the post after his side performed valiantly in last weekend’s narrow defeat to Wales, and former Italy and South Africa coach Nick Mallett is also being considered for the full-time role.
Results in England’s final two games in France and against Ireland at Twickenham likely are likely decide Lancaster’s fate, and if those do not go to plan, Irish head coach Booth is favourite among the current crop of Premiership coaches for the job after Northampton’s Jim Mallinder decided not to apply.
Backing: Toby Booth has been tipped as a potential England coach
And Exiles back row forward and aspiring coach Richard Thorpe, who has worked under Booth for 10 years, has triumphed his mentor’s case.
‘He (Booth) would be an absolutely fantastic candidate for the England post, I think it’s certainly something that’s in his future,’ said the 27-year-old Thorpe.
‘Being that I’m a player at London Irish I’d hate to see him go at this stage, but he’s got to reach for as high as he can go and he’s certainly capable of it.’
A key member of Booth’s side, Thorpe is in his sixth season at London Irish having graduated through their academy – which was then managed by Booth – and is an aspiring coach himself.
Mentor: Thorpe has worked under Booth for 10 years
Despite his young age, Thorpe already coaches the Exiles’ amateur side, and he admits he has learned and awful lot from Booth over the last 10 years.
‘He’s been my mentor from a very young age. He brought me into the London Irish academy when I was 18, when he was academy manager at the time, and as he’s progressed through with his coaching career I’ve progressed through with my playing career, so I’ve worked very closely with Toby for a long time.’
Thorpe is currently working on his level three IRB coaching certificate, having completed the first two levels, and he is happy to admit he has borrowed much of his rugby philosophy from the man he sees as one of the top coaches around.
Outside bet: Booth is behind Lancaster and Mallett in the running for the job
‘The coaching that I do with the London Irish amateurs, the vast majority of what I do would be Toby’s drills and Toby’s philosophy of rugby,’ said Thorpe.
‘My entire rugby philosophy is based on Toby’s, because that’s what I know. I’ve been fortunate to have been working very closely with Toby, with one of the top coaches, so I couldn’t ask for a better mentor.
Richard Thorpe was speaking courtesy of Gatorade. The London Irish players were offering tips and advice to amateur side Eton Manor as part of Gatorade’s Save Your Season program. For more visit www.saveyourseason.co.uk