The Red Roses have a new coaching set-up going into the home 2025 World Cup
John Mitchell has been confirmed as the new England women head coach, succeeding Simon Middleton who left after leading the Red Roses to the Six Nations Grand Slam last month.
New Zealander Mitchell, 59, previously coached the England men’s side’s defence under Eddie Jones between 2018 and 2021 while he was the national side’s forwards coach between 1997 and 2000.
Mitchell will take up the role after the conclusion of the men’s Rugby World Cup at the end of October due to his role as Japan’s defence coach.
He 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,” said Mitchell.
“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.”
Current forwards coach Louis Deacon will stay in his role under Mitchell while also taking on the extra responsibility of serving as interim coach until the Kiwi joins.
Recently retired former captain Sarah Hunter has a new role as transition coach looking after “the senior women’s team and pathway programme, with a focus on forwards, breakdown and defensive systems”.
England women’s U20 head coach Lou Meadows has been promoted to attack coach, filling the vacancy left by Scott Bemand who departed alongside Middleton after Saturday’s record-breaking win over France at Twickenham.
Women’s and sevens performance manager Charlie Hayter has a new role as head of women’s performance responsible for performance strategy and delivery within the programme.
“We are thrilled to be welcoming John back to England Rugby together with Louis, Charlie, Sarah, and Lou,” said executive director of performance rugby, Conor O’Shea.
“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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