Oxford MailCatt to join England staff (From Oxford Mail)

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Catt to join England staff

Oxford Mail: Mike Catt Mike Catt

Mike Catt will join England's coaching staff for next month's tour of South Africa, the Rugby Football Union have confirmed.

Catt will join Stuart Lancaster's backroom team next week after completing his duties with London Irish after their final Aviva Premiership match against Gloucester on Saturday.

The RFU have turned to Catt after revealing Wayne Smith, who had been offered a coaching role on a long-term basis, will remain in New Zealand for family reasons.

Lancaster welcomed the interim appointment of South African-born Catt for his first tour as England head coach.

England will play three Tests against the two-time World Cup winners during a five-match tour.

"Mike has played at the top level and is highly respected," he said.

"He has done a great job whilst coaching at London Irish and we are looking forward to working with him on this South Africa tour.

"He is experienced in playing in South Africa and this will be invaluable as we prepare for this challenging and exciting tour.

"While Mike, Graham Rowntree and myself will lead on the coaching for the tour, we will also have Jon Callard and Simon Hardy as part of the coaching team."

Lancaster revealed Smith had informed him on Tuesday morning that he would not be able to join the tour, saying: "I respect his decision, it is for family reasons. I do think we are on the right track and I am pleased to have Catty - it is a great opportunity for him."

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