- Gustard to help oversee Saxons' fixtures against Ireland Wolfhounds and Scotland A
- Nick Walshe and Ian Peel to continue at helm of England Under 20
Photo: Getty Images
Paul Gustard of Saracens is to join the England Saxons coaching team for January’s internationals against the O2 Ireland Wolfhounds and Scotland A.
Nick Walshe and Ian Peel have also been reappointed to lead the England Under 20 programme during the Six Nations as well as the defence of their IRB Junior World Championship title in New Zealand next summer.
Gustard filled the defence coach role on England’s tour to Argentina last summer and is being seconded to the Saxons programme from his Aviva Premiership club.
He joins Head Coach Jon Callard and Forwards Coach Simon Hardy in the Saxons management team led by the RFU’s Head of International Player Development Joe Lydon.
Lydon said: “Paul Gustard will join the Saxons coaching team for January’s internationals and we’re grateful to Saracens for releasing him to us.
“Having him on board adds real value to our programme for two important matches, in terms of both continuity from the summer and in closer integration with Aviva Premiership clubs, players and coaches.
Photo: Getty Images
“It’s also good to confirm that Nick Walshe and Ian Peel will continue developing the Under 20 group throughout the Six Nations and then take the side to New Zealand next summer where we’re defending our world title.
“They helped lead England to success in France last summer – aided by Jon Callard and Simon Hardy – and the tournament win was the culmination of a huge effort from all of the management staff and players combined. We know that, like the Saxons, the Under 20s is a key component in the international player development pathway.
“Since 2011 we have seen nine England Under 20 players capped at Senior level – including the likes of Owen Farrell, Joe Launchbury, Mako and Billy Vunipola – which is testament to the programme and all the coaches and staff who support it. While winning is of course important, the primary focus is development and performance, and that is what is being delivered.”
England Head Coach Stuart Lancaster said: “Having worked with Paul Gustard last summer I know the energy and expertise he will bring to his role with the Saxons and I’m looking forward to see Nick Walshe and Ian Peel build on their success this year.”
“The Saxons and Under 20 programmes play a key role in the development pathway. They are part of a bigger landscape that includes Under 18 coaches John Fletcher and Peter Walton as well as Professional Player Development Manager Alun Powell, the Aviva Premiership Academies and the England Sevens programme run by Simon Amor and Damian McGrath.
“Together they are all preparing the international stars of the future and the senior coaches will be watching them closely in the coming months.”
Photo: Getty Images
Gustard said: “Last summer’s tour to Argentina suggested English rugby is producing an exciting generation of talented players, and it will be a privilege for me to continue working with many of these players when the Saxons gather at the end of January. I am grateful to the RFU and Saracens for creating this opportunity and I’m looking forward to working and sharing ideas with Joe, Jon and Simon.”
Walshe, alongside assistant coach Peel, 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.
Jan 25: England Saxons v O2 Ireland Wolfhounds (Gloucester, 5pm, live on Sky Sports)
Jan 31: Scotland A v England Saxons (Glasgow, 7.30pm).
Jan 31: France U20 v England U20 (Draguignan, 8.55pm)
Feb 7: Scotland U20 v England U20 (Galashiels, 7.30pm)
Feb 22: England U20 v Ireland U20 (Northampton, 6.15pm, Live on Sky Sports)
Mar 7: England U20 v Wales U20 (Newcastle, 7.45pm, Live on Sky Sports)
Mar 14: Italy U20 v England U20 (Botticino, KO tbc)