- Former England Head Coach back in rugby as Coaching Consultant
- Pleased to be able to offer my coaching help in a supportive role – Ashton
Photo: Getty Images
Former England Head Coach Brian Ashton, who led England to the 2007 Rugby World Cup final, has agreed to return to his old club, National Two North side, Fylde RFC as Coaching Consultant.
Ashton, 63, is considered one of the most visionary coaches in the global game and recently moved back to the Lytham area and will now help Head Coach Mark Nelson in the development of Fylde's senior squad.
A scrum half by trade, Ashton played at the Woodlands from 1966-1973 before moving to Orrell and then having a spell overseas at Montferrand, Roma and Milan.
He then switched to coaching and had a brief spell back at the Woodlands in 1980-81 whilst teaching at Stonyhurst College before an appointment at Kings School Bruton, near Bath.
He became Head Coach at Bath RFC in 1994 but it wasn't long before a move to the international scene beckoned. He became Head Coach of Ireland in 1996 and was then appointed Head Coach of England in 2006, replacing the outgoing Andy Robinson.
Ashton recorded victories in his first two games at the helm, beating Scotland and Italy at Twickenham before the team suffered a 43-13 defeat to Ireland at Croke Park.
Ashton's Fylde arrival to be used as catalyst
Leading England to the 2007 World Cup was a notable high during Ashton's reign. While the campaign got off to a slow start with a narrow victory over the USA and a heavy defeat at the hands of South Africa, victories over Australia and hosts France in the knock-out stages took England to the final in Paris where they lost 15-6 to the Springboks.
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He was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire in the 2008 New Year Honours.
Fylde Head Coach Mark Nelson is full of praise for the well travelled Ashton and is looking forward to his arrival, he said: "We are all delighted that Brian has agreed to assist us.
"He has one of the most astute brains in rugby and we hope to use him to inspire and enthuse our players.
"We will be using Brian's arrival as a catalyst to change the way we play the game."
Nelson added: "I was coached by him as a young winger at the Woodlands in 1980 and I can't wait to work with him again."
Speaking about his latest career move, Ashton said: "I'm pleased to be able to offer my coaching help in a supportive role to Mark and more generally to my old club."