Middleton will depart after the six Nations

It has been formally announced that England Women head coach Simon Middleton will step down from his role after the 2023 TikTok Women’s Six Nations.

According to RFU performance director Conor O’Shea, the union have been working on their coach succession planning over the last 18 months and with Middleton to leave England Women after the final match of the Six Nations – England play France at Twickenham last, on 29 April – they will have a successor ready to name in the aftermath.

Middleton to leave England women: His words

Middleton said of the role: “This job has created a life I’d only ever dreamt of. Hopefully, what we have managed to achieve reflects well. It means the world to me to represent my country and the RFU. With whatever I do, I always work as hard as I can and I can honestly say I’ve never done anything without giving my best, it’s not always been good enough but I have always given my all.”

He added: “There have been great memories built around success and great memories built around defeat. Do I regret not signing off winning the World Cup as a head coach? Yes for sure, but I know we can all live with that because we could not have worked harder or given more, sometimes that’s just not quite enough and it wasn’t on the day. I know last year’s World Cup campaign was and continues to be celebrated and quite rightly so – the bravery and commitment of the players in that game was exceptional and is to be admired. They are an excellent group of players, but more importantly amazing people and I know they will continue to be successful.

“I know there is a robust process to get the right person to take over and I am naturally 100% committed until we get to that point. This is definitely the right time for someone to take over at the helm with new ideas, and a different voice for players to get inspired by.

“Now our attentions turn to being able to perform as well as we can with the goal of winning the Six Nations. It’s a really exciting tournament, culminating in a match against France at Twickenham in front of a huge crowd which will be an inspiring and incredible occasion for everyone. It’s a crucial tournament in the build-up to 2025 and I cannot wait to be back with the group.”

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