|Position||Assistant Head Coach|
|Weight||128kg (20st 2lb)|
Eleven seasons have passed since Peter Walton, an exuberant and powerful back row forward, ended his playing days, took up coaching and embarked on the path to becoming the England U18 assistant coach.
He has now occupied that role the past three exciting years during which the national squads in that age group have achieved eye catching success. They won three consecutive Grand Slams and had a sequence of 19 victories from mid-2007 until July 2010.
As a Number 8 and blind side flanker for Northampton Saints, Newcastle Falcons, the Barbarians and Scotland, Peter had a redoubtable reputation and that has been extended to the technical front. He was assistant coach to the Falcons’ first team squad in 2000, became the club’s academy coach two years later and in 2005 was appointed as first team forwards’ coach.
Newcastle’s impressive production line of players had much to do with Peter’s influence. He, too, had mentors in the background during his climb to winning 24 Scotland caps, sharing in the 1999 Five Nations Championship title triumph, captaining his country both at schools and senior level and playing in the World Cups of 1995 and 1999.
He first played when eight at Alnwick RFC in his home town where mini coach John Frater and first team coach Ken Britton set him on the road to success. Danny Hodgson, the Alnwick and Northumberland team manager offered guidance and encouragement and later Wayne ‘Buck’ Shelford at Northampton and Scotland’s Jim Telfer were key figures. Fellow back row men Dean Richards and John Jeffrey, ‘The Great White Shark’, were players he also admired.
Peter represented Northumberland Schools and the North and England Colts, the North senior team and Scottish Exiles. He attended Wooler Junior School in Northumberland and Merchiston Castle, Edinburgh and in chronological terms played for Alnwick (1988-1991), Newcastle Gosforth (1992), Northampton Saints (1993-95) and Newcastle Falcons (1995-2000).
He helped Falcons to win the Premiership title in 1998 and has a kaleidoscope of sporting activities away from rugby as a Scottish Fives champion, a curler in the Scottish Championships and a cricketer. Squash, tennis and golf are also on his CV.
His mother Anne won curling honours for England and Diana, his wife has played hockey at a good level. Brother Michael represented Scotland Schools, England Colts and Northumberland’s senior side before retiring at the age of 22.
Peter’s philosophy is: “Train well, play well and live well. Rugby’s a simple game and, unless you have played, you will never know how it should be played. Keep it simple but be effective and get from A to try line as quickly and directly as you can.”