England Women have appointed Richard Blaze as forwards coach with immediate effect.
Former Leicester Tigers lock-turned-coach Blaze will head up the forwards division for the England Women’s team following the departure of Matt Ferguson to Northampton Saints earlier this year. Blaze joins head coach Simon Middleton and backs coach Scott Bemand to complete the England Women coaching set up.
Blaze joined England Rugby as part of the coach development agreement in November 2017, working as England U20 forwards coach. Previously he worked as forwards coach at Leicester Tigers having played for the club from 2007-10.
Blaze represented England Saxons at the Churchill Cup in 2007 and 2008 but was forced into early retirement through injury.
He said: “This is an exciting new challenge. I very much enjoyed my time at Leicester and with the U20s and this is an excellent opportunity which I’ve no doubt will make me a better coach in the long term.
“This is a talented group of players and I look forward to working with the Red Roses to help them grow and improve.
“I have already spent some time out with the clubs and it’s exciting to see the strength and depth of women’s rugby in England with Tyrrells Premier 15s. I’ve been very impressed with what I’ve seen so far.
“We will be striving for excellence as we build through to the 2021 Women’s Rugby World Cup.”
Of the appointment England Women Head Coach Simon Middleton said: “We are delighted to appoint Richard Blaze as forwards coach.
“Richard brings a wealth of experience to the programme and will add great value to the team. He has already proven himself to be of the highest calibre of coaches within the Gallagher Premiership with Leicester Tigers. He has high performance and international experience as a player and is a proven developer of young players from his time with England U20.
“To recruit a coach of his capability is testimony to the direction in which women’s rugby is going.”
The Red Roses kick off their 2018-19 campaign with the Quilter Internationals, when they will play USA, Canada and Ireland in November.
Quilter Internationals 2018
England Women v USA Women
Friday 9 November – Allianz Park (KO 7.45pm, live Sky Sports Action)
Tickets available here
England Women v Ireland Women
Saturday 24 November – Twickenham Stadium (KO 5.40pm, live Sky Sports Action and Sky Sports Mix)
Free entry at the conclusion of the men’s game.
Courtesy of the RFU