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Former England coach Jack Rowell dies aged 87

NEWS: Jack Rowell, the man who turned Bath into a rugby power and coached England to the semifinals of the 1995 World Cup, has died at the age of 87.

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“It is with deep sadness that we learned of the passing of former Bath head coach and club president Jack Rowell on Monday, July 1,” the English Premiership club said in a statement.

“Jack Rowell, all 6 feet 7 inches (200 centimetres) of him, was a towering figure in the history of Bath and English rugby, a unique character who will never be equaled for his extraordinary achievements as a visionary, astute strategist and inspirational coach.”

Rowell coached England from 1994 to 1997, overseeing 21 victories in 29 Tests.

Under his leadership, England won two Five Nations titles, including the Grand Slam in 1995, and reached the World Cup semifinals the same year, where they lost to the Jonah Lomu-inspired All Blacks.

“RIP Jack Rowell – mastermind of Bath’s glorious reign in the 1980s and 1990s,” former England hooker Brian Moore posted on X. “A Grand Slam-winning England coach and a truly original thinker.”

Rowell was appointed by the Rugby Football Union following an impressive club coaching career.

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After leading Gosforth to two cup wins – the only domestic silverware on offer at the time – he moved to Bath where he presided over a golden era.

Between 1978 and 1994, they won eight knockout cups and, following the introduction of a league in 1987-88, five of the first seven championship titles.

Rowell returned to the Recreation Ground as director of rugby in 2002, where current England head coach and former Bath captain Steve Borthwick worked with him.

“As a player at Bath, I had the privilege of working with him when he was director,” said Borthwick.

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“He left a huge impression on me, as someone with incredible knowledge and a fantastic man.

“His contribution to English rugby was enormous and he will be sorely missed.”

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