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VIDEO – Catt joins England coaching team for South Africa

01 May 2012

  • Catt to work with England from May 7 to June 30
  • World Cup winner confirmed as part of a coaching to to including Jon Callard and Simon Hardy

Mike Catt will join the England coaching team for the five-match tour of South Africa next month.

Mike will leave London Irish after their final Aviva Premiership match with Gloucester Rugby at the Madejski Stadium on Saturday and start work with England on May 7 through to June 30.

England Head Coach Stuart Lancaster said: "Mike has played at the top level and is highly respected. He has done a great job at whilst coaching at London Irish and we are looking forward to working with him on this South Africa tour. He is experienced in playing in South Africa and this will be invaluable as we prepare for this challenging and exciting tour.

"While Mike, Graham Rowntree and myself will lead on the coaching for the tour we will also have Jon Callard and Simon Hardy as part of the coaching team. Jon and Simon know the players well from their roles with the Saxons. They will assist in the preparation and support to the midweek teams and they will provide excellent specialist support in their individual areas with Jon supporting our kickers and Simon our hookers throughout the whole squad."

Mike Catt said: "I was very impressed with England during the Six Nations, not just the way they played but the culture that is developing, and hopefully I can complement what Stuart and Graham are doing. There are some talented young players coming through and the chance to work with them for the Barbarians game and the tour is really exciting.

"I’ll be sad to leave London Irish and I want to say a huge thanks to all the players and coaches I have worked with since 2004. Toby Booth in particular deserves massive credit for what and how he has taught me. Thanks also to the supporters who have been brilliant over the last eight years and I will take away some lasting memories."

Mike Catt profile

Mike Catt playing for England

Photo: Getty Images

Born: September 9, 1971, Port Elizabeth
  • Mike Catt MBE had an exceptional career for Bath Rugby, London Irish England and the British Lions.
  • South African-born, he went to Grey Junior and High School in Port Elizabeth and represented Eastern Province before playing his senior rugby in England.
  • Mike made his debut for England in 1994 against Wales, going on a roller-coaster ride around the England backline, playing at fullback, flyhalf and centre. He was part of England's 1995 Grand Slam winning side and played in the Rugby World Cup that year. His 75 international caps included a crucial role in winning the 2003 Rugby World Cup with a masterful 40 minutes in the quarter-final against Wales. He was awarded an MBE in November 2003 for his part in that success. He also played five games in RWC 2007 including starting the final against South Africa.
  • While touring Argentina with England in 1997 Mike was called up as an injury replacement for the British and Irish Lions tour to South Africa and played in the final test. Four years later he was selected for the Lions squad that toured Australia.
  • On the domestic front, he joined Bath in 1992 and stayed at the Recreation Ground for 12 years, where he played 220 games and scored 64 tries.
  • He joined London Irish in July 2004 and his outstanding form for the Exiles resulted in him being named Guinness Premiership Player of the Season for 2005-06.
  • Playing at either fly half or inside centre, Mike had a major influence on the London Irish playing style over the past five seasons during which he made 89 appearances for the club and scored 79 points, including eight tries. In July 2007 his primary role changed from player to coach as he took on the responsibility for coaching the club's talented backs and he was appointed attack coach in July 2008, helping them to the Premiership final in May 2009.