Rugby World Cup: England complete backroom team as Leicester Tigers coach one of two brought in

·3-min read
Tom Harrison Credit: Alamy
Tom Harrison Credit: Alamy

England have confirmed the appointment of scrum coach Tom Harrison, who will join up with the squad from Leicester Tigers on June 1.

The announcement of Harrison’s deal completes Steve Borthwick’s coaching team for the Rugby World Cup, which kicks off in France later this year.

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Harrison is assistant coach at Leicester Tigers, leading on scrum coaching. He started in their academy programme, before joining the first team coaching staff for the 2020/21 season. He was part of the team that won the Premiership in 2021/22.

Tony Roques also handed role

Tony Roques, England men’s sevens head coach, will also work with the team as contact and skills coach during the preparation and training camps.

Roques represented his country at England Sevens, before moving into coaching. He has worked with USA Rugby and Team GB at the 2021 Olympic Games. Roques also worked with the England squad ahead of the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

It is also confirmed that Richard Wigglesworth will lead the attack coaching and kicking strategy, while Kevin Sinfield will continue his work as defence coach. Wigglesworth will join up with England at the end of the Premiership season, alongside Aled Walters who will be head of strength and conditioning.

Borthwick said: “I am very pleased to confirm the England coaching team for the Rugby World Cup.

“Tom is an excellent coach and will have a real impact in an area that will be fundamental to us as a team.

“Leicester’s scrum is renowned across Europe and Tom has played a leading role in that success. I have full confidence in him and I am very happy that he will be joining England.”

He added: “Tony has an extensive background in Sevens and is an experienced, specialist contact and skills coach. Individual skill emphasis will be an important part of our work.

“Having worked alongside him in the 2019 campaign, I know what a good coach he is and he will really contribute to the team.

“Richard has a proven track record as a player and a player coach, and you can see what an excellent job he has done as head coach of Leicester Tigers in the past few months.

“He has played at Rugby World Cups and has coaching experience in 2019, and understands the unique demands of the tournament and the support that players need. He knows a lot of the players very well and will bring different insights to the coaching team.

Coaching team now complete

“Along with Kevin and Aled, I am pleased with the balance and wide range of experience that the coaching staff will have.

“As a group, we know each other well and we know the areas we will focus on to continue developing and building this team and be the best prepared team that we can be.

“We know this World Cup will be highly competitive, but we are genuinely excited by what this group of coaches and players can achieve in France.”

Roques will keep oversight of the GB Sevens programme while working with the England men’s team.

England’s first preparation camps will start in mid-June as they begin work ahead of the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France. They will face Argentina, Japan, Chile and Samoa in Pool D.

As part of their preparation, Borthwick’s side will take part in four Summer Series fixtures. England will first travel to Cardiff to face Wales on Saturday, August 5 in the first of a double-header. Twickenham will host the return fixture on Saturday, August 12.

England will then play Ireland in Dublin on Saturday, August 19 before their final game at Twickenham against Fiji on Saturday, August 26.

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