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John Mitchell takes up an England coaching role

NEWS: The RFU announced that John Mitchell will be appointed to the role of England Women’s head coach after the World Cup, where he is currently the defence coach for Japan.


Louis Deacon will continue as forwards coach and will lead the team until Mitchell joins. Charlie Hayter will move into a more embedded role as the Head of Women’s Performance and will be responsible for the performance strategy and delivery within the programme.

Mitchell has almost three decades of international experience having coached in New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, USA, Japan and in England where he worked with the England men’s team as forwards coach between 1997-2000 and defence coach between 2018-2021.

Speaking about his appointment Mitchell said: “The Red Roses have set an incredible standard and foundation for women’s rugby, being the most successful team in the Six Nations which is a tremendous achievement, and we now have the opportunity to build on this, mature in key areas and become a truly champion side that can rightfully contest for the World Cup in 2025.

“I would like to honour the hugely supportive Red Roses fans with successful performances as we work towards winning and selling out Twickenham Stadium for the Rugby World Cup in 2025.”

England’s most capped player and former captain, Sarah Hunter, has been appointed to the role of Transition Coach to work with both the senior women’s team and pathway programme, with a focus on forwards, breakdown and defensive systems.

Lou Meadows has been promoted from her role as Under-20 Head Coach to Attack Coach for the women’s senior team. A former teacher and Development Officer with the RFU, Meadows was the first-ever female head coach of an England men’s aspirational side when she coached England Counties U20s. As a player, she represented Wasps and Saracens.


Conor O’Shea, Executive Director Performance Rugby said: “We are thrilled to be welcoming John back to England Rugby together with Louis, Charlie, Sarah and Lou this will be a formidable coaching team to take the Red Roses to the next stage in their development.

“With our most recent Six Nations Grand Slam win and setting a global record crowd, a high bar has been set. I’m confident that this extensively experienced coaching team will be equally challenging and supportive of the team in the next stage of their development.”

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