Bristol will “take all reasonable actions” after denying an agreement for Steve Borthwick to become England forwards coach.
The Rugby Football Union had released a statement earlier saying that former England captain Borthwick would join new head coach Eddie Jones’ team without prior notice.
Borthwick signed a long-term deal with Bristol after the World Cup, and previously worked under Jones in coaching the Japan international squad.
He handed in his resignation to the club on Tuesday, but Bristol asserted that they had not been asked for permission to speak to Borthwick and had refused to accept his resignation.
Bristol said they would take “all reasonable actions as necessary to protect the club’s position.”
Before Bristol had intervened, Borthwick was quoted in an RFU statement saying it was a “huge honour to be asked as these chances don’t come around often”.
Eddie Jones had praised Borthwick as a “young coach with great potential” and that his “analytical” approach was a great addition to the England coaching staff.