England U20 coaches announced for 2018/19 season
England Rugby has announced the appointment of their three U20 coaches for the 2018/19 season.
Mark Hopley, James Scaysbrook and Richard Whiffin all join for 18 months as part of the latest coach development programme agreement signed between the Rugby Football Union (RFU) and Premiership Rugby.
The programme will run alongside the coaches’ current club duties and will include the 2019 Six Nations as well as next year’s World Rugby U20 Championship tournament in Argentina.
The U20 coaching team will be supported by RFU pathway performance coaches Steve Bates and Jim Mallinder while the trio will receive an individually designed coach development programme, led by head of professional coach development Gordon Lord.
It follows a successful trial in 2016/17 which saw Louis Deacon, Tom Williams and Ian Vass, who has gone on to coach at Montpellier, lead the U20s to Six Nations glory as well as into the final of the World Rugby U20 Championship.
Last season saw Anthony Allen, Richard Blaze, who was recently appointed forwards coach for England Women, and James Ponton join the programme in the second year of the agreement.
Under their guidance England U20s finished runners-up in the Six Nations, while also reaching the final of the World Rugby U20 Championship, where they were beaten by France