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Joe Lydon named RFU Head of International Player Development

24 May 2013

  • Former England attack and Sevens coach Lydon announced as Head of International Player Development
  • Ex rugby league international will manage international performance pathway for players
Joe Lydon

Photo: Getty Images

Joe Lydon has been appointed Head of International Player Development for the Rugby Football Union.

The rugby league great and former England attack and Sevens coach, currently Head of Rugby at the Welsh Rugby Union, will lead and manage the international performance pathway to provide a pipeline of international players for England Rugby.

RFU Chief Executive Ian Ritchie said: “This is a critical building block in the RFU’s departmental reorganisation, ensuring that there will be a clear focus on long-term development. Joe is a fantastic addition to the RFU and I am confident he will help ensure future success at all levels.”

Reporting to England Head Coach Stuart Lancaster in the new International Performance Department, Lydon will join the RFU at a date to be confirmed.  

Lancaster said: “This is a significant appointment for the future of England Rugby, made following a rigorous selection process. Joe has a huge amount of experience as a player, coach and head of a successful performance and development structure in Wales and I am looking forward to working with him.

“He will be responsible for developing and managing a world-class system of international player development for all our teams. We would like to build on the current system of talent identification, development and selection process that ensures we have continual supply of high-quality international players for England.”

Lydon, whose remit will include Saxons, U20s, U18s, Sevens, and the Women’s senior, Sevens and U20 teams, is returning to the RFU where he coached the senior, Saxons, Sevens and Under 19 teams.

He said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time within Welsh Rugby and I feel proud and privileged to have helped the WRU make great strides in performance and development over the last five years. I’d like to thank Welsh Rugby for the fantastic opportunity and the support and guidance provided by so many along the way.

“I am now looking forward to a new challenge and to contribute to the development of players within the RFU pathway. There is already some great talent coming through the system and I am looking forward to working with Stuart, the other coaches and performance staff to maximise that potential as we move to 2015 and beyond.”