Richard Wigglesworth has been appointed interim head coach at Heineken Champions Cup side Leicester Tigers following the departure of Steve Borthwick to take charge of England.

Wigglesworth’s appointment sees him retire from professional rugby following a fine career, in which the scrum-half earned 33 England caps and was a three-time winner of EPCR’s elite competition with Saracens, after moving there from Sale Sharks.

The 39-year-old ends his career, which spanned over two decades, with 116 appearances in EPCR competitions, having featured as a replacement in both Leicester’s pool stage games this season.

Borthwick led Leicester to the EPCR Challenge Cup final in 2021 before guiding them to the Heineken Champions Cup quarter-finals – and Gallagher Premiership title – last season. Defence coach Kevin Sinfield has also left Leicester to join the England staff.

Under Borthwick’s guidance, Leicester have enjoyed a solid start to the 2022/23 Heineken Champions Cup, winning 23-17 at Ospreys and 23-16 at home to ASM Clermont Auvergne to sit third in Pool B after two rounds.

Wigglesworth’s first Heineken Champions Cup game in charge will be a trip to Clermont in Round 3, with Leicester heading to Stade Marcel-Michelin on January 13.

“There is so much to be excited about for what is to come for this great group of players, coaches and staff at Leicester Tigers,” Wigglesworth said.

“The decision to retire from playing was not easy. I have given absolutely everything to my playing career and loved every minute of being a professional rugby player.

“I would not have taken on the head coach role of Leicester Tigers if I did not believe there was a group of players and coaches who are committed to being successful and, with those at this club, that cannot be questioned.”