Former back-rower, captain and coach John Wells is to join Leicester Tigers global partner club Rugby Colorno in Italy.
Wells played for Tigers on 367 occasions and stands 10th on the club’s all-time appearance list as well as enjoying great success as a coach, working with Dean Richards as the club celebrated four league titles and successive Europeans Cups, and then taking over as head coach before joining the RFU.
He has since worked with the England team and, since 2012, with Richards at Newcastle Falcons where he has operated as forwards coach, head coach and recently defence coach.
Now the 55-year-old will join Colorno as defence coach, working with director of rugby Nick Scott, a former team-mate at Newark.
Wells said: “I’ve been coaching in the Premiership or at international level now for over 22 years and I wanted an opportunity to do something a little different, so I am going to join up with Nick Scott, Stefano Cantoni and Cristian Prestera at Rugby Colorno in Italy.
“Nick and I played together in the same Newark team way back in 1981 and have kept in touch. He took on the director of rugby role a couple of seasons ago and got Colorno promoted to Italy’s Top 12 in his first season.
“They are a very ambitious club with a huge community game and I will be helping to coach the first team, under-18, under-16 and women’s squads.”
Falcons director of rugby Richards said: "John has made an outstanding contribution to the club over the past eight years, and leaves with our sincere thanks and best wishes.
“I have been closely associated with John in one form or another for well over 30 years, both as a player and coach, and I know he will make a success of his new challenge over in Italy.”
Colorno head coach Cristian Prestera said: “I was lucky enough to meet John last year during our visit to the Falcons and I think he is a great person as well as a coach of enormous international experience.
"I'm sure he can give us a good hand to achieve the goal we set ourselves, to become the best club in Italy to play for."
"We are thrilled that a manager of his caliber has decided to join us," added club president Mario Padovani. “In Colorno we have always invested in the training and growth of young people and I believe that a man of his experience can give us a hand along this road.”