Fixtures - Top Bar

Former England Saxons Head Coach Steve Bates joins the RFU

Former England Saxons Head Coach Steve Bates has been appointed Performance Manager and International Performance Coach by the Rugby Football Union (RFU).

Reporting to Dean Ryan, Head of International Player Development, Bates will lead the England under 20s programme, delivering talent identification and facilitating coach and player development.

He will also oversee the new RFU and Premiership Rugby coach development agreement which was announced in January. Each season talented club coaches will join the under 20 management, adding significant benefit to the current coach development programme in England, with Louis Deacon, Ian Vass and Tom Williams leading the current Six Nations campaign.

Bates, a former Wasps scrum-half who was capped for England, held the position of head coach at Newcastle Falcons for seven years, winning the Premiership in 1998, before returning as Technical Director of Rugby in 2007.  The following season he led the Saxons in the Churchill Cup in Canada and became Director of Rugby for Newcastle.

The UKCC Level 4 coach, who will join the RFU ahead of the World Rugby U20 Championship this summer, said: “I have a passion for developing both players and coaches so I couldn’t have asked for a more suited role.

“The RFU and Premiership Rugby have an excellent long-standing relationship and I’m looking forward to the opportunity to work closely with the professional clubs to drive the development programme forward, providing a fantastic platform for both players and coaches to develop at international level.

“I’ve been very impressed with what I’ve seen from England U20 so far this season and the World Rugby U20 Championship this summer will be a fantastic opportunity to look at areas which we can develop further and keep moving forward.”

After studying BHum Physical Education and Biology at London University, Bates worked in teaching before taking the role of Newcastle Falcons head coach in 1996.  After leading Scotland A to the final of the Churchill Cup in 2006, Bates took up the position of head coach with the England Saxons two years later, beating his former side in the final to win the trophy.

More recently Bates has held the role of director of sport at Fettes College in Edinburgh having previous experience in education as director of rugby at Northumbria University.

Dean Ryan, Head of International Player Development at the RFU, said: “The combination of his experience of coaching at the highest level and teaching within education means that Steve is an excellent fit for this role. His experience means he will offer a great sounding board for everybody on the programme and he will facilitate the opportunity for the coaches to grow and make their own mark of the team.”

Latest News

RFU Disciplinary Hearing: Bryce Heem

The charge against Bryce Heem of Worcester Warriors for tackling the jumper in the air, contrary to law 10.4(i), was…

Bryce Heem

Saracens to thank Emergency Services at Derby Day

Saracens are offering complimentary tickets to any member of the London Emergency Services for the upcoming Derby Day clash against…


Champions Cup semi-final venues announced

BT Murrayfield in Edinburgh, Dublin’s Aviva Stadium and Franklin’s Gardens in Northampton, as well as three French stadiums – the Allianz…

Fly-half Josh Lewis signs for Bath Rugby

Bath Rugby is delighted to welcome fly-half Josh Lewis, who will join the Club from Ebbw Vale for the 2017/18…

Josh Lewis

Don Armand targeting big final push with Exeter Chiefs

Don Armand insists Exeter Chiefs will make the most of time off to ensure they are in fine fettle for…

Don Armand

RFU Disciplinary: Bryce Heem

Bryce Heem of Worcester Warriors will appear before an RFU Disciplinary panel this evening charged with tackling the jumper in…

Gloucester Rugby respond to rumours regarding Carl Fearns

Gloucester Rugby have today responded to a story in the French press alleging that Carl Fearns will not be joining…


Chew Valley champing at the bit for Twickenham outing following Bath Rugby’s Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup

Lewis Kenyon and his Chew Valley U12s team were left grinning from ear to ear after securing a spot as part…

Aviva Premiership Rugby Weekend Round-up

Christian Wade made the difference, according to director of rugby Dai Young, as Wasps booked their place in the Aviva…

Match Reaction: Wasps 40 Worcester Warriors 33

Wasps director of rugby Dai Young has urged improvement from his side after they were given a scare by Worcester Warriors on…

Match Reaction: Saracens 53 Bath Rugby 10

Brad Barritt believes Saracens’ desire not to take their foot off the pedal proved the decisive factor as an eight-try…