England Women have appointed former Leicester Tigers and Worcester Warriors lock Richard Blaze as the new forwards coach.
Blaze will take over the vacant role created following the departure of Matt Ferguson to Northampton Saints and now will join head coach coach Simon Middleton and backs coach Scott Bemand ahead of the autumn internationals.
The 33-year-old has played for Moseley, Worcester Warriors and Leicester Tigers between 2003 and 2010 and has represented England Saxons five times in 2009 and 2010 combined.
Blaze also has the experience of working as forwards coach of England U20 and Leicester Tigers side.
“This is an exciting new challenge. I very much enjoyed my time at Leicester and with the U20s and this is an excellent opportunity which I’ve no doubt will make me a better coach in the long term," he said.
“This is a talented group of players and I look forward to working with the Red Roses to help them grow and improve.
“I have already spent some time out with the clubs and it’s exciting to see the strength and depth of women’s rugby in England with Tyrrells Premier 15s. I’ve been very impressed with what I’ve seen so far.
“We will be striving for excellence as we build through to the 2021 Women’s Rugby World Cup.”
England Women are set to face USA, Canada and Ireland in their autumn internationals on 9th, 18th and 24th November respectively.