Former England coach Ashton joins coaches

Former England coach and attack guru Brian Ashton has joined England head coach Stuart Lancaster and the England squad who are preparing to face new Zealand’s All Blacks.

Ashton led England to the 2007 Rugby World Cup having made his name at international level under Clive Woodward in the run up to the 2003 Rugby World Cup.

The former Bath and Ireland coach Ashton help mentor Lancaster and a number of the current England squad as Academy players.

Head coach Lancaster says that Ashton has been brought in to help the coaches more than the players and it would be wrong to read too much into Ashton’s involvement this week as well as on Monday and Tuesday.

“I don’t want to create something that’s not there,” Lancaster said.

“It’s for me to sit down and chat. Different ideas, different perspective.

“He’s developed a lot of players, but actually he’s developed a lot of coaches. He’s somebody I’ve always stayed in contact with.

“He’s a very creative attacking coach (but) we’re not going to change anything we’re not already doing.

“I think the way in which we try and play the game will remain the same.”

England have a strong set of forwards and have not struggled with possession but there have been question marks over the backs ability to use the ball as well as the likes of New Zealand.

“In terms of our attacking mindset, I think we’ve always had a strong one,” Lancaster told the Daily Mail.

“We need to beat New Zealand by scoring tries as well as kicking points.”

England face New Zealand first next month and then matches against South Africa (November 15), Samoa (November 22) and Australia (November 29) follow in consecutive weeks.

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