Leicester Tigers have announced changes to the club’s coaching team ahead of the 2021/22 season.
The club will welcome Kevin Sinfield OBE to the coaching team as defence coach, with the 40-year-old making the move to Leicester Tigers after three years as Director of Rugby at Super League club Leeds Rhinos.
Assistant Coach Mike Ford leaves the club after two years, while Head of Analysis Simon Barbour will also leave Tigers after more than a decade.
Tigers have also confirmed new deals for assistant coaches Tom Harrison and Matt Smith, who began the 2020/21 campaign as part of the club’s academy programme coaching team before stepping up to roles in Steve Borthwick’s senior coaching set-up.
Sinfield, who has been Director of Rugby at Leeds Rhinos for three years, enjoyed a trophy-laden professional rugby league career spanning 18 years, making more than 500 appearances for Rhinos and representing England and Great Britain on more than 40 occasions.
A seven-time Super League champion, two-time Challenge Cup and triple World Club Challenge winner, Sinfield finished his rugby league career as the most decorated domestic professional player in English history and the Super League's record appearance holder and points-scorer.
He was awarded an MBE in 2014 for services to rugby league and a year later joined Yorkshire Carnegie in the RFU Championship for a season before retiring from professional sport at the conclusion of the campaign.
Sinfield was appointed Rugby Director of the Rugby Football League in 2016 and helped lead England to the 2017 Rugby League World Cup Final before returning to Rhinos as Director of Rugby the following year.
In the 2021 Queen’s Birthday Honours, the incoming Tigers assistant coach was appointed an OBE for services to rugby league football and charitable fundraising.
Sinfield, Harrison and Smith will join Brett Deacon and Head of Physical Performance Aled Walters as assistant coaches to Borthwick for the 2021/22 campaign.