- England U20 boss wins Development Coach of the Year award
- "We went to the JWC as one massive family" – Walshe
England Under 20 Head Coach Nick Walshe has won the Performance Development Coach of the Year award at the 2013 UK Coaching Awards.
Walshe, who was capped twice by England in 2006, joined the RFU in 2011 from Bedford Blues, initially as assistant coach to Rob Hunter before taking the reins as Head Coach in 2013.
Walshe – assisted by Ian Peel and Jon Callard – masterminded England’s summer success at the IRB Junior World Championship in France, where they beat New Zealand in the semi final before getting the better of Wales in the final, the first time England have won the competition.
Photo: Getty Images
He was announced as the winner at a ceremony in London on Tuesday evening ahead of Sonya Ellis (athletics) and Matt Price (karate) and, speaking at England Under 18s' match against Australian Schools the next day, admitted he was not expecting such an honour.
“The whole thing came as a surprise. I got an email six weeks ago and just thought ‘what’s this all about?’ Then, it was very pleasing to win it.
“It’s massive to be recognised – both personally and as a team. The players, the management staff, we all went to the World Cup as one massive family and to get the recognition is brilliant.”
Impressed by the perseverance of John Fletcher’s side at Harrow School – many of whom will be joining him in the Under 20 set-up this season – Walshe finished by outlining his aims.
“We will try to do well in the Six Nations and the World Cup but as I stress to my team, it’s all about performing well and that’s what we’ll concentrate on.
“If that happens, hopefully we’ll have another successful year.”