English Rugby
Brian Ashton departs from Fylde
ESPNscrum Staff
May 2, 2012
England boss Brian Ashton watches on, England v Ireland, Six Nations, Twickenham, England, March 15, 2008
Brian Ashton back when he was in charge of England © Getty Images
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Former England coach Brian Ashton has left National One side Fylde where he held the position of coaching consultant.

The Lancashire club say that Ashton has "other options of potential work to consider", in addition to taking on an ambassadorial role with a clothes manufacturer. Ashton, 65, led England to the 2007 World Cup final, losing against South Africa in Paris, during a 16-month stint at the helm.

He had previously worked as Sir Clive Woodward's England coaching assistant following a spell at Bath, and he also headed up the Rugby Football Union's national academy for three years.

The RFU confirmed on Tuesday that Mike Catt will join England's new coaching set-up under Stuart Lancaster for the three-Test South Africa tour next month, although at this stage it is a short-term arrangement. Whether Ashton returns to the England fold at some point remains to be seen, but he would offer Lancaster enormous experience and bring with him a reputation as one of world rugby's most inventive attacking coaches.

"Brian is a world class rugby coach," Fylde head coach Mark Nelson said. "We have been incredibly lucky that he has been able to commit the amount of time, expertise and energy to the club over the past two years.

"There are numerous business commitments and opportunities that are developing for him. Of course, he will be sorely missed, but I fully understand and accept his reasons for stepping down."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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