- England Deaf to benefit from Ford’s expertise
- Braintree date for England defence coach
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England defence coach Mike Ford will put the England Deaf side through their paces at Braintree RFC on Sunday October 24.
Ford, who is part of England manager Martin Johnson’s coaching team, will be at the Beckers Green Road ground for a training session with England Deaf squad ahead of their opening match of the season against an Essex Over 30s XV that afternoon (1.30pm).
The day has been organised by the Essex RFU as a way of raising the profile in the local area and has been sponsored by local authorised BMW dealership Elm Stansted.
“Elm Stansted will be having an open day on the Saturday at their Bishop’s Stortford dealership where the public are welcome to attend and meet the England Deaf team during the course of the morning with a Prize Draw in connection with the dealership,” said Tony Stoyles, England Deaf Rugby’s director of rugby.
The training session will also help England Deaf prepare for their annual fixture against Northamptonshire Police at Old Northamptonians on November 7. Two internationals will be played in the New Year away to Wales on February 5 and home to Scotland on March 12 at venues to be confirmed.
Mike Ford had spells at Wigan, Leigh, Castleford and Oldham as a rugby league scrum half, the latter two straddling a period spent with South Queensland in the ARL.
He also won ten Great Britain caps and toured New Zealand and Papua New Guinea in 1988. Hung up his boots as player-coach of Oldham in 2001 and in January the following year was appointed Ireland's Defence Co-ordinator.
He was with Saracens from 2004 onwards, first as defence and skills coach before taking over as head coach in February 2006. He coached the successful midweek Lions' side in 2005 and became England's Defence Coach in May 2006.