Norwegian Riise appointed interim England women's coach

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LONDON (Reuters) - England named former Norway midfielder Hege Riise as interim coach of the women's team on Tuesday after Phil Neville stood down to take over at Major League Soccer (MLS) men's side Inter Miami.

The FA said in a statement that 1995 World Player of the Year Riise, 51, would lead their February training camp and be supported by former Canada international Rhian Wilkinson and women's technical head Kay Cossington.

Riise and Wilkinson had applied for the vacant role of assistant coach and had agreed short-term contracts, it added.

The move brings one of the great pioneers of the game to the Lionesses.

Part of the Norway team that was a global powerhouse in the 90s and early 2000s, Riise won the UEFA Women's Championship in 1993, the World Cup in 1995 and a gold medal at the Sydney Olympics during an international career that included 188 caps.

Her club career brought her from the Norwegian league to the Carolina Courage in the United States before she returned home again, eventually retiring at the age of 37.

Riise moved into club management in Norway and coached the under-23 team before a three-year spell as USA assistant manager from 2009. She joined local side LSK Kvinner in 2012 and took over as head coach five years later.

Riise has been instrumental in bringing through a superb generation of young Norwegian players at the club, such as Chelsea's Guro Reiten and VfL Wolfsburg's Ingrid Syrstad Engen.

Riise was in France to see Neville's side beat Norway 3-0 in the quarter-finals of the 2019 World Cup.

However, England's form has slumped in recent times and the temporary appointment of Riise, before Dutch coach Sarina Wiegman takes over full time after the Tokyo Olympics, will go a long way to steadying the ship for the Lionesses.

"I'm excited about the opportunity I've been given to work with England Women," said Riise.

"This is a proud and ambitious team that I look forward to working with and I am confident of making a positive impact when I meet up with the squad in February."

(Reporting by Phil O'Connor/Alan Baldwin; Editing by Christian Radnedge and Ken Ferris)