England Women have appointed former Leicester Tigers player and coach Richard Blaze as forwards coach.
Blaze joins head coach Simon Middleton and backs coach Scott Bemand – another former Leicester player – to complete the England Women management team.
Blaze joined England Rugby as part of the coach development agreement in November 2017, working with England Under-20s. Previously he worked as forwards coach at Tigers having played for the club between 2007-10.
He said: “This is an exciting new challenge. I very much enjoyed my time at Leicester and with the Under-20s, and this is an excellent opportunity which I’ve no doubt will make me a better coach in the long term.
“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 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.”
Head coach Middleton said: “Richard brings a wealth of experience and will add great value to the team. He has already proven himself to be of the highest calibre of coaches with Leicester Tigers. He has high performance and international experience as a player and is a proven developer of young players from his time with England Under-20s.
“To recruit a coach of his capability is testimony to the direction in which women’s rugby is going.”
The Red Roses kick off their 2018/19 campaign with the Quilter Internationals against USA, Canada and Ireland in November.