RFU and Premiership forms a partnership

Tue, 31 Jan 2017 12:00
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NEWS: Premiership Rugby and the RFU have signed a new agreement that will add significant benefit to the current coach development programme in England.

The restructure will see three talented club coaches join the England Under 20 Management team every season alongside a performance coach, who will act as a facilitator for the programme.

Dean Ryan, Head of International Player Development at the RFU, said: "This is a landmark agreement and one that offers a brilliant opportunity for coaches at Premiership clubs to gain experience in an international environment. The strong partnership between England Rugby and Premiership Rugby made this possible and we are focused on providing a fantastic platform for these coaches to grow and develop their skills,"

This year will see former England second row Louis Deacon, Harlequins’ Tom Williams and Saracens Academy coach Ian Vass form part of the England U20 coaching staff for the upcoming 2017 Six Nations and World Rugby U20 Championship in Georgia this summer.

After making his debut for Harlequins in 2004, winger Williams scored 65 tries in 214 appearances for the club.  He retired from the professional game at the end of the 2015 season to join the club's academy coaching staff. Alongside his commitments to Quins, Williams is also the head coach of National Division One side Esher.

Former Northampton Saints scrumhalf Vass, who is currently a coach at Championship side Bedford alongside his role with the Premiership champions, will be a familiar face for the five Saracens players in the England U20 EPS. Vass has played a big role in the development of Saracens’ young players most recently mentoring England U20 flyhalf Max Malins.

36-year-old Deacon, who joined Birmingham Moseley Rugby Club as a specialist line-out coach before progressing to the role of forwards coach, is familiar with the environment having been involved in the last two England U20 training camps.

"We are delighted to see these three young coaches get their chance with what is an extremely talented group of young players, who have prospered in our club Academies, which we run in partnership with England Rugby," said Phil Winstanley, the Rugby Director at Premiership Rugby.

"The way Tom and Ian have moved into an England Under 20 role alongside their club commitments is another example of the way the Premiership Rugby are supporting England teams at all levels, and shows the powerful partnership between us and the RFU,"

The RFU are currently recruiting for an England U20 performance coach to facilitate the programme.

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