- Ian Collins to lead England against Wales
- Guy Lavery appointed vice-captain
England Deaf have named flanked Ian Collins as their new captain for the international against Wales at Fylde on Sunday February 26.
Collins, who plays for Sevenoaks, will lead the side with London CL centre Guy Lavery Collins as his vice-captain.
Collins and Lavery will form a new leadership team in the England Deaf side, taking over from Mark Lewis (Brighton) and Dan McAllister (Luton) who were joint captains last season.
England have yet to beat Wales in a Deaf international but have gone close in each of the past two seasons, losing narrowly at Broadstreet the last time they hosted them in 2010 and going down 21-9 at Pontypridd 12 months ago. England expect to name their squad to face Wales by February 12.
Players are eligible to play for England Deaf if they have a combined average hearing loss of 25dB or more in both ears. This roughly translates to a minimum hearing loss in both ears or a moderate hearing loss in one ear with normal hearing in the other.
Not all of the players wear hearing aids or only communicate by sign language. This has never stopped all the players communicating and playing rugby as a squad.
England Deaf Rugby Union can offer Deaf awareness advice to clubs and schools, integrate deaf and hard-of-hearing players to clubs and liaise with club members to ensure players are managed correctly.