Former North Midlands and Dudley Kingswinford scrum-half Shaun Perry has been appointed a part-time positional coach by the Rugby Football Union to support the England age grade teams and develop talented players on the pathway.
The former Coventry, Bristol and Worcester player is currently coaching at a number of schools in the area as well as helping out the Bridgnorth club having previously spent a season in charge of DK.
Perry has been appointed to the RFU role along with former England prop Alex Corbisiero and they join a coaching group which includes World Cup winner Richard Hill, now in his second year as a player mentor, working with young players aiming to progress to the England team.
“I love rugby, having played it since the age of seven. I wanted to get involved in coaching after playing as I was lucky enough to experience good coaches and felt I could do a good job,” Perry said.
“It is great to be back in the elite environment and I think the England age grade setup is outstanding. I’ve been impressed with the skill level of the players and the energy that they bring – there is a good buzz. I enjoy being able to support their learning and hopefully my input can make a difference in some way. It is a privilege to be involved.”
Joe Lydon, Head of International Player Development said: “Alex and Shaun complement the current coaches and, as they are both relatively new in their coaching journeys, there is value in this experience for them. It is obvious that they are both naturals when it comes to coaching and mentoring young players.
“The focus is on creating a player-centred learning environment and U18 Head Coach John Fletcher played a key part in bringing about their involvement. He is constantly looking at how we can add value for the players and accelerate their development.
“We’ve had excellent feedback as the players value and respect their input, knowing that they have achieved themselves at the highest level. The two coaches also have great empathy for the players and there is an instant rapport. I hope we continue to not only work with Alex and Shaun but also find others who can work in a similar role, supporting the learning of our young players.”