England Counties are seeking to appoint an honorary Head Coach following James Shanahan’s tenure in charge of the progamme. (Photo Credit: John Ashton)

The Blackheath coach oversaw an incredibly successful period for the Counties programme, but now Team Manager Dan Cook and his staff are searching for a replacement for the 2019/20 season.

England are planning to go to Romania next summer after a positive tour to the country two years. The Counties U20s programme also travelled to the European nation and came away with victories earlier this year.

For further details on the vacancy, see below. Closing date for applicants is the 22nd of August.




Honorary Team Manager, England Counties XV.


England Counties Management Team, RFU staff, CB and National League club managers and coaches.


The post-holder will lead the coaching team and planning of the coaching programme to provide a positive and successful playing environment. Provide high quality coaching to community rugby-based players to enable them to perform at their optimum level whilst enhancing the County Championship and club rugby.


  • Ensure the RFU’s objectives are achieved for the England Counties XV by leading the preparation of the team’s coaching programme to develop the skills and understanding of the players.
  • Lead the coaching and manage the contribution of the coaching staff to ensure the players receive the highest quality coaching, preparation and feedback.
  • Work in conjunction with the Team Manager to facilitate the selection of players from Constituent Bodies in an objective manner.
  • Evaluate all coaching sessions and games with the coaching team and players.
  • Provide constructive feedback to players to enable them to continue with their development beyond England Counties.
  • Attend the meetings of the National Delivery Team.
  • Participate in an annual review of performance and commit to personal development.
  • Ensure that the coaching and playing squad present themselves as ambassadors for the Rugby Football Union and act within accordance of the Core Values of the sport.
  • Work with the Management team to ensure successful experiences for all members of the squad, including upholding any Code of Conduct, together with promoting rugby in hosting countries.


  • Hold a minimum of an RFU / UKCC Level 3 Coaching Qualification or its recognised equivalent.
  • Demonstrates a track record of personal coach development.
  • Articulates and delivers a clear playing and coaching philosophy that is in accordance with the objectives of the programme.
  • Self-motivated, committed and enthusiastic about coaching rugby union.
  • Has significant experience of coaching adults at Club and CB level.
  • Is strongly biased towards a Player Centred approach to coaching.
  • Creates an environment that balances player development with team performance.
  • Is able to lead & manage people.
  • Is able to articulate and deliver sound coaching processes relative to the programme.
  • Has a sound understanding of the RFU aspirational programmes.
  • Sets high standards of personal accountability, reliability and responsibility for the players and staff.
  • Is able to work effectively with other members of the Management Team.


  • The post holder is accountable to the England Counties Team Manager and National Delivery Team for the successful delivery of the responsibilities as outlined above.
  • The term for the position is 2 years subject to annual review, with a further two years by mutual consent.

Applications, with a cover letter and Rugby CV, should be sent to: Peter Taylor PeterTaylor@rfu.com

The closing date for all applications is Thu 22 Aug. Interviews will take place on Wed 28 Aug.

For further information and/or an informal discussion please contact:

Dan Cook, England Counties Team Manager,  5dancook@gmail.com  07770 582182