Saracens - Academy Coach Vass to link-up with England U20

Jan 31, 2017

Academy Coach Vass to link-up with England U20

Saracens Academy Coach Ian Vass has been named as one of three coaches to England U20 Management Team, as part of new RFU and PRL coaching initiative

Vass, who will remain at Saracens, will combine his role at the Saracens Academy to join U20 set-up alongside a performance coach, who will act as a facilitator for the programme. 

This year will see Vass, a former scrum-half for Northampton Saints, Stade Francais and Harlequins, join former England second-row Louis Deacon and Harlequins’ Tom Williams to form part of the England U20 coaching staff for the upcoming 2017 Six Nations and World Rugby U20 Championship in Georgia this summer.

The restructure will see three talented club coaches join the England Under 20 Management team every season. Dean Ryan, Head of International Player Development at the RFU, said: “This is a landmark agreement and one that offers a brilliant opportunity for coaches at Premiership clubs to gain experience in an international environment. The strong partnership between England Rugby and Premiership Rugby made this possible and we are focused on providing a fantastic platform for these coaches to grow and develop their skills.”

Former Northampton Saints and Stade Francais scrum-half Vass, who is currently a coach at Championship side Bedford alongside his role with the Premiership champions, will be a familiar face for the five Saracens players in the England U20 EPS. Vass has played a big role in the development of Saracens’ young players most recently mentoring England U20 fly half Max Malins. 

“We are delighted to see these three young coaches get their chance with what is an extremely talented group of young players, who have prospered in our club Academies, which we run in partnership with England Rugby.” said Phil Winstanley, the Rugby Director at Premiership Rugby.

“The way Tom (Williams) and Ian (Vass) have moved into an England Under 20 role alongside their club commitments is another example of the way the Premiership Rugby are supporting England teams at all levels, and shows the powerful partnership between us and the RFU.”

The RFU are currently recruiting for an England U20 performance coach to facilitate the programme.

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