Jan 31, 2017
Vass England U20 appointment 'great news' for Saracens - McCall
Ian Vass’ appointment to the England U20 coaching staff will be of mutual benefit for Club and coach according to Saracens director of rugby, Mark McCall.
The Rugby Football Union (RFU) and Premiership Rugby Limited (PRL) have signed a new agreement that will see a restructure of the England U20 coaching staff. Three talented club coaches will join the England Under 20 Management team every season alongside a performance coach, with Saracens’ Vass joining former England second-row Louis Deacon and Harlequins’ coach Tom Williams in the National set-up.
Vass, who has been coaching the Saracens Storm and Anglo-Welsh Cup sides this season has been at Saracens since 2013, and will link up with the U20 team for the upcoming Six Nations and U20 World Cup. McCall, who himself coached age-group representative rugby earlier in his coaching career for Ireland U21s and Ireland A, believes the move for Vass is great news for the Club.
“It’s good news on a couple of levels,” said McCall. “Firstly, for Ian’s own development, it’s a really important step forward for him. He’s a very good young coach who has been with us for a number of years and has done a great job coaching the Storm (A League) and Anglo-Welsh Cup teams this season.
"He does a great job coaching our senior academy players and to get this opportunity to in an U20s environment in the Six Nations and the U20s World Cup will hopefully do his development the power of good. Hopefully this will have a knock-on effect for the rest of the Club as well."
Vass will be coaching some familiar faces in the group, with Saracens academy back rowers Ben Earl and Jack Nay, lock forward Nick Isiekwe, fly-half Max Malins and centre Dominic Morris all included in the England EPS squad that also included prop Ralph Adams-Hale and full-back Ali Crossdale before they both had to withdraw due to injury.
McCall said: “We’ve got five players in England U20 EPS at the moment, with a number of them in line for a start against France which is another great thing to see and Ian will be working very closely with them.
“This is not a permanent post, he’ll go to England but he’ll come back to the Club and I think we’ll get a better coach as a result of this arrangement.”