English Rugby
RFU drafts in Joe Lydon
ESPN Staff
May 24, 2013
Assistant Coach Joe Lydon issues instructions to the players during the England training session at Pennyhill Park in Bagshot, England on February 21, 2006.
Joe Lydon played 32 Tests for Great Britain in rugby league © Getty Images
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The Rugby Football Union has appointed Joe Lydon as its new head of international player development.

The former England attack coach will move to the RFU from his current role as head of rugby at the Welsh Rugby Union. Lydon, who won 32 caps for Great Britain in rugby league, will report into Stuart Lancaster and the Rugby Football Union says his brief will be to "lead and manage the international performance pathway to provide a pipeline of international players for England".

Lydon's remit includes the Saxons, U20s, U18s, Sevens, and the Women's senior, Sevens and U20 teams. He is returning to the RFU after a six-year spell at the organisation between 2000 and 2006.

During this time he was coach of England Under-19 and England Sevens and then he moved into the England skills coach role for the pre-2003 World cup training camp. Between 2004 and 2006 he took on the attack coach role and RFU CEO Ian Ritchie is delighted with his capture of Lydon.

"This is a critical building block in the RFU's departmental reorganisation, ensuring that there will be a clear focus on long-term development," Ritchie said. "Joe is a fantastic addition to the RFU and I am confident he will help ensure future success at all levels."

Lancaster said of Lydon's appointment: "Joe has a huge amount of experience as a player, coach and head of a successful performance and development structure in Wales and I am looking forward to working with him.

"He will be responsible for developing and managing a world class system of international player development for all our teams. We would like to build on the current system of talent identification, development and selection process that ensures that we have continual supply of high quality international players for England."

Lydon's immediate focus will be on the 2015 World Cup and he is relishing the chance to get on with his new post. Lydon said: "I have thoroughly enjoyed my time within Welsh Rugby and I feel proud and privileged to have helped the WRU make great strides in performance and development over the last five years.

"I am now looking forward to a new challenge and to contribute to the development of players within the RFU pathway. There is already some great talent coming through the system and I am looking forward to working with Stuart, the other coaches and performance staff to maximise that potential as we move to 2015 and beyond."

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