Mike Catt has reportedly accepted a two-month contract with the RFU to coach England on their summer tour to South Africa. The former England international will begin his duties after London Irish’s final game of the season against Gloucester next weekend.
As a player Catt won 75 caps over 13 years with England, playing in both the 2003 and 2007 Rugby World Cup finals. He retired from playing in 2009 and has worked as an attack coach at London Irish ever since. Despite speculation linking him with a move to Bath, Catt still has two years to run on his London Irish contract along with Toby Booth, who earlier this week stated that he would honour the remaining years of his contract.
Catt will effectively replace Andy Farrell in marshalling England’s attack and backs, with another former London Irish coach Dave Ellis rumoured to be brought in to cover the defence. Another name linked with Catt’s position was Clermont coach Alex King, but he was unable to apply for the position due to the fact that the Top 14 final is on the same day as England’s first Test on June 9th.
With Wayne Smith hopefully confirming his move to join England on a permanent basis from October in the coming days, Catt has the chance to impress this summer with a view to being involved with the national setup in the future. Is he the right man for the job?