Skivington named England A Head Coach

Skivington named England A Head Coach

Fellow Gloucester Rugby coach Dom Waldouck will lead on defence, while Northampton Saints’ Sam Vesty will be in charge of the attack.

The coaching team was chosen in consultation alongside Premiership Rugby, with the selection of the first match day 23 since 2016 to be determined by senior men’s head coach, Steve Borthwick. 

Having retired from a successful playing career with Wasps in 2016, Skivington moved into coaching, firstly with Samoa in 2015 before working at London Irish as an assistant coach between 2016 and 2020. He was later appointed head coach at Gloucester Rugby in 2020.  

The 41-year-old is no stranger to the England A team environment having captained the side on a number of occasions. He lifted the Churchill Cup in 2010, having also played in a 66-0 win over Portugal for the team in 2009.  

“It’s a massive honour to be asked by Conor O’Shea and Steve Borthwick to lead the England Men’s A team next month," said Skivington. "I recognise the trust they have placed in me with this opportunity, and I look forward to linking up with the coaching group and the squad in February."

Waldouck accompanied Skivington in that convincing victory, scoring a try in the only previous meeting of the nations 15 years ago at Sedgley Park. The 36-year-old also has playing experience with England U20 Men.

Former centre Waldouck has been a part of the coaching group at Kingsholm since Skivington’s appointment four seasons ago and previously lifted the Heineken Cup and Premiership title as a Wasps player.  

Current Northampton Saints head coach Sam Vesty will lead the attack. Vesty’s Saints are currently top of the Gallagher Premiership table and will hope to bring with him the attacking threat that has seen Saints top the Premiership’s try-scoring charts for the last two seasons.

The 42-year-old played for Leicester Tigers 164 times before moving to Bath Rugby where he made a further 64 appearances. The utility back retired in 2013 before taking on a coaching role at Worcester Warriors. Whilst at Sixways, Vesty was appointed skills coach for England’s two-Test tour of Argentina. In 2018, he was named Northampton Saints attack coach before taking on the role of head coach in 2022.

RFU Executive Director of Performance Rugby Conor O’Shea said: “On behalf of the RFU, I’d like to thank both Gloucester and Northampton, alongside Premiership Rugby, for their collaboration and effort in assembling what is a very exciting coaching panel ahead of our Men’s A fixture against Portugal next month.  

 “We’re fortunate to possess a coaching staff boasting a wealth of experience in the game that totals decades and will be a fantastic match for the appropriate challenge of Os Lobos.  

“Each member of the coaching staff was picked with the consideration of their ability to develop young players and bringing international talent to the top of English rugby.   

“This fixture, as well as the England Men’s A games to come, aims to elevate that platform and build a consistent pathway for young English players into the senior level of the game in this country.”

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