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Mapletoft becomes a Quin

01 April 2010

  • Mapletoft moves to the Twickenham Stoop from July
  • England U20 head coach will guide side at IRB Junior World Championships

England Under-20 head coach Mark Mapletoft during the junior world cup

Photo: Getty Images

National Academy and England U20 Coach Mark Mapletoft has accepted the role of Assistant Coach at Harlequins for season 2010/11 reporting directly to Director of Rugby Conor O’ Shea. Mark will start his new role on July 1.

Since being appointed as a National Academy Coach in January 2007 Mapletoft has spent the last three years working within the RFU Elite Rugby Department under Rob Andrew, Head of Elite Coach Development Kevin Bowring and Head of Elite Player Development Stuart Lancaster.

During his time in the Elite Rugby Department Mapletoft has spent two seasons as Assistant Coach to Nigel Redman where the highlights were an U20 RBS 6 Nations Grand Slam and reaching the IRB Junior World Championships Final in 2008.

Since then Mark has led the team to third in last season’s U20 RBS 6 Nations and again reaching the final of the Junior World Championships. This season expectations are even higher and having secured second place in this year’s U20 RBS 6 Nations he is fully committed to achieving the ultimate goal of winning the 2010 Junior World Championships, which take place in Argentina in June.

Players he has worked with in the National Academy system and within the England U20 age group who have gone onto Senior England EPS international recognition include Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers), Danny Care (Harlequins), Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers), Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints) and Matthew Mullan (Worcester Warriors).

Difficult decision for Mapletoft

England Under-20s coach Mark Mapletoft

Photo: Getty Images

Mark Mapletoft said: "It has been a very tough decision to make but after three very enjoyable years working as part of the Elite Department I’ve decided to move onto fresh challenges at Harlequins.

"I’d like to thank Rob Andrew, Stuart Lancaster, Kevin Bowring, Nigel Redman and everyone associated with the National Academy and the England U20 set ups for all the help and encouragement they have given me. I have benefited hugely from the Elite Coach Development programme run by Rob, Kevin and Nigel Redman and I hope to take all the experiences I have gained at the RFU to the challenging job at Quins."

Kevin Bowring said: "Everyone at the RFU would like to wish Mark every success at Harlequins. He has done an excellent job with the England U20 group and year on year he has developed into an exciting prospect as an international coach within the U20 age group.

"The Elite Coach Development programme continues to be innovative and challenging for everyone who takes part and Mark’s progress can be mirrored by other coaches like Martin Haag (Bath Rugby), Jim Mallinder and Dorian West (Northampton Saints) who have spent time on our programmes and within the England representative team structure and successfully moved into the Guinness Premiership in recent seasons."

Harlequins Director of Rugby, Conor O’ Shea said: "I have played against and coached Mark whilst at London Irish and have also worked closely with him during my time at the RFU. I believe that Mark will compliment our coaching team perfectly and really impact positively on the potential we have within our backline."