An all-Premiership coaching staff will lead England A next month

Gloucester’s George Skivington will coach England A against Portugal in February, the Rugby Football Union has announced.

He is leading an all-Premiership coaching staff with Gloucester’s Dom Waldouck heading up defence and Northampton’s Sam Vesty in charge of attack. England A will play Portugal on 25 February at Leicester Tigers Stadium.

“It’s a massive honour to be asked by Conor (O’Shea) and Steve (Borthwick) to lead the England Men’s A team next month,” Skivington said. “I recognise the trust they have placed in me with this opportunity. I look forward to linking up with the coaching group and the squad in February.”

England head coach Borthwick has been championing the regular re-introduction of the A team. It was founded in 2003 but the team have not competed in eight years.

It functions as the second team to the England men’s side, allowing players who have not been picked for the senior team to get experience on the international stage.

“Each member of the coaching staff was picked with the consideration of their ability to develop young players and bringing international talent to the top of English rugby,” RFU Executive Director of Performance Rugby Conor O’Shea said.

“This fixture, as well as the England Men’s A games to come, aims to elevate that platform and build a consistent pathway for young English players into the senior level of the game in this country.”

The fixture against Portugal is the only one currently in the diary. It comes after Portugal had an impressive Rugby World Cup campaign where they performed well in every match and recorded their first ever World Cup win against Fiji.

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