- Pirates' head coach Ian Davies joins RFU Championship XV coaching team
- Liam Middleton forced to step down due to family reasons
Photo: Brian Tempest
Cornish Pirates’ head coach Ian Davies has accepted the role of assistant coach of the RFU Championship XV, following the departure of Liam Middleton for family reasons.
Davies will join fellow RFU Championship coach Diccon Edwards in assisting Mike Rayer in his role as head coach of the XV side, which will face the Maori All Blacks at Doncaster Knights’ Castle Park on November 17.
The fixture is the first of its kind in RFU Championship history and will see an entirely English qualified squad take to the field against the Maori All Blacks. Following his appointment, Davies commented:
It is both an honour and a privilege - Davies
“It is both an honour and a privilege to have been asked to be part of the Championship XV coaching team. To work with Mike and Diccon is exciting as both are very attack minded in their philosophy on how rugby should be played.
“Personally, I am very ambitious, striving to coach at the highest level that I can achieve and this fixture represents a fantastic opportunity to test my coaching abilities. But more importantly it is a wonderful chance for the players to demonstrate the high level of rugby skill that is on show week in week out within the RFU Championship.
"I don’t think it is just a coincidence that a large percentage of the EPS squad have their roots in the Championship and it will be interesting to see how many of this Championship XV make the step up in the next 12-24 months”
Bristol Rugby head coach Liam Middleton was announced as an assistant coach for the RFU Championship XV earlier this month, but has decided to withdraw from the position, saying:
"It was a fantastic opportunity and an honour to be asked to be a part of the Championship XV coaching team alongside Mike Rayer and Diccon Edwards.
"Unfortunately, due to family reasons, I cannot commit to the match. I'm certain that Mike and his team will produce a team and style that is representative of the competition."
Maori All Blacks November Tour
Leicester Tigers, Tuesday, November 13, Welford Road. KO 1930.
RFU Championship XV, Saturday, November 17, Castle Park. KO 1205.
Tickets on sale from Friday, September 24. www.drfc.co.uk
Canada, Friday November 23, Oxford University Rugby Club, Iffkey Road. KO 1930.
Tickets: 01865 432000