Middleton is a former cross-code wing/full back having played rugby league for Castleford (Heritage № 693) as well as rugby union for a number of clubs including Leeds Tykes, where he took up a coaching role following his retirement from playing.
He spent 11 years at Leeds holding various coaching roles including defence, skills and eventually assistant coach, and helped them to the Premiership twice as well as achieve Heineken Cup qualification for the first time in their history.
In 2014, Middleton joined the RFU and led the England Women Sevens on the World Series, as well as taking a role as assistant coach for the 2014 Rugby World Cup in France where England were crowned champions.
In 2015, he became Red Roses head coach initially in a joint role with sevens.
Since taking the role, Middleton has guided England to three Six Nations Grand Slams in 2017, 2019 and 2020, the 2021 Six Nations title and helped the team reach a fifth straight World Cup final in 2017 when they lost 41-32.
Middleton was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2021 Birthday Honours for services to rugby.
In December 2021, Middleton made history as he was named as the World Rugby Coach of the Year.
He was the first coach of a women’s team to win the prestigious award, having guided the Red Roses through a second successive calendar year unbeaten and 18 tests wins in a row, including back-to-back record wins over world champions New Zealand in November. Middleton, in his seventh year as England head coach, saw his side score 57 tries and concede only 10 in 2021 as they added another Women’s Six Nations title to their honours roll.
JW Dec 2021.
|2014 - present|