|Position||Attacking Skills Coach|
Since enjoying a glittering career and winning 75 caps for England, together with one for the British & Irish Lions, Mike Catt OBE made a striking contribution as the London Irish Attack Coach. It led to his role as England backs coach for last summer’s tour of South Africa, followed by his appointment on September 8 as attacking skills coach for England’s elite players.
His primary role for London Irish had changed from player to coach in July 2007 when he took on responsibility for the club’s backs and after being named as attack coach a year later, he helped them to the Premiership final in May 2009.
As an England RWC winner in 2003, he was appointed MBE and then OBE in the 2011 New Year’s Honours List for his services to rugby. Mike had made his England debut against Wales in 1994 during a career that included Test appearances at full back, fly half and centre and he played in the first of his four World Cup tournaments the following year. His masterful 40 minutes in the quarter final win over Wales helped England to make crucial progress towards beating Australia in the final.
While touring Argentina with England in 1997, he was called up as a replacement for the British & Irish Lions tour to South Africa and appeared in the final Test. He was also chosen for their tour of Australia four years later. Mike joined London Irish in 2004.
He became the Premiership Player of the Year in 2005-06 and exerted a major influence on the style of game that the Exiles adopted. Born in Port Elizabeth, he holds a British passport as his mother was born in the Home Counties. Mike was schooled at Grey Junior and High in Port Elizabeth and represented Eastern Province before coming to England. After that, his exceptional career gathered momentum with his overall appearances in 12 years for Bath escalating to 220 in which he scored 64 tries. His Test points had reached 142 when he played his final international match against South Africa in the 2007 RWC final. He also appeared for the Barbarians in the England game at Twickenham Stadium in 2009.
Mike said: “I loved working with the squad in South Africa and while gutted not to win the series, I can see that this group of England players is heading in the right direction. Stuart, Graham and Andy did a great job in the Six Nations and to be able to work with them and the best players in England is a great honour.”