Simon Amor and Matt Proudfoot join England coaching team

Eddie Jones

England men’s head coach Eddie Jones has appointed Simon Amor and Matt Proudfoot as his new assistant coaches.

Here is the press release from the RFU:

Proudfoot and Amor join defence coach John Mitchell and Steve Borthwick, who will switch roles to skills coach, alongside Jones, as the England men’s coaching team for the 2020 Guinness Six Nations.

Proudfoot, South African born and a former Scottish international, will become forwards coach having been involved in the South African national team since 2016. The 47 year-old former prop was part of Rassie Erasmus’ backroom staff during the recent Rugby World Cup. He joins the RFU following the conclusion of his contract with South Africa.

He previously coached at Western Province and Stormers in South Africa and Kobelco Steelers in Japan. Proudfoot, capped four times for Scotland between 1998 and 2003, played for Edinburgh and Glasgow Warriors and the Leopards and Blue Bulls in South Africa.

Jones said: “The Guinness Six Nations 2020 is a fresh start for the team so that is how we have approached our coaching staff. With Neal Hatley moving to Bath we felt we needed to regenerate the forwards coaching area. Matt Proudfoot has had an outstanding coaching career to date culminating in being a World Cup winning coach with South Africa.

“He brings great technical expertise and knowledge having coached in South Africa and Japan and having played in Scotland and South Africa. We feel he can take the forwards to another level and build on the great work Neal and Steve have done over the last four years.”

Proudfoot said: “England is probably the best team in world rugby to coach. Having coached against them you get to respect their identity so to get the opportunity to be part of that is a huge honour and privilege. I am really grateful to Eddie, the rest of the coaching staff and the RFU to be given this chance. It is a decision I take with great humility and responsibility and know there is a huge legacy to live up to. I look forward to taking that challenge on and doing England proud.”

Amor will take on the role as attack coach, leaving his position as head of the England Sevens men’s and women’s programme to join the England senior team coaching staff. The 40 year-old has been head coach of the England Men’s Sevens since 2013 and appointed head coach of Great Britain Sevens which saw Team GB go on to claim a silver medal at the Rio Olympic Games in 2016.

He has held roles at London Scottish and England Women’s Sevens previously and been performance advisor at UK Sport. As a scrum half he played 15s for London Irish, Gloucester, London Wasps and London Scottish and represented and captained England Sevens which included appearances at the 2002 and 2006 Commonwealth Games. He was named as the first IRB Sevens Player of the Year in 2004.

Jones said: “We have had our eyes on Simon for a while. We used him in the run up to the Rugby World Cup in some of our training camps. I have been very impressed with his dynamism, his rugby intellect and he will bring a fresh view on how we build our attack. We have done some great things under Scott Wisemantel and we will always be forever grateful for the work he did, but we are excited about Simon coming in and what he is going to bring.”

Amor said: “I love my country and I love coaching. This opportunity to work at the highest level for my country is something I am incredibly passionate about and I am honoured to be joining Eddie’s coaching team. The things I am most excited about are being able to learn in this environment and having an opportunity to help improve some great players and the team. I’m also keen to work closely with the premiership club coaches, keep improving and getting better myself, further developing what I’ve learned in my career so far.”

Amor will return to his duties as head coaches of England and GB Sevens after the Guinness Six Nations to continue preparations ahead of the Olympic Games in Tokyo before joining Eddie Jones’ coaching team full time post-Olympics. James Rodwell will become acting head coach for England Men’s Sevens in Amor’s absence, covering the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series tournaments in Hamilton, Sydney, Los Angeles and Vancouver.

Amor added: “I’m delighted for James having the opportunity to act as England Men’s Sevens head coach. He’s put in a lot of time and effort in his coaching journey so far and this will be great for him to develop even more, as it will be also for John Brake supporting him. This is a good example of how the England Sevens programme helps with elite coach development.”

What do you think of this news?

15 thoughts on “Simon Amor and Matt Proudfoot join England coaching team

  1. Happy with the addition of Proudfoot in particular and Borthwick as skills coach makes sense. Amor comes with less XV’s pedigree so yet to be convinced

  2. With his 7’s background I would have thought Amor would be the ideal fit for a skills coach. Not sure if he can translate the very good work he’s done in 7’s to the 15 a side format. Interesting selection all the same.
    Proudfoot is highly experienced and well regarded. Seems like a shrewd appointment.

    1. We spent a lot of time without an attack coach so am pleased that we have someone. Glad we’re replacing Hatley; after the murder of our scrum in the final we needed a change.

    2. Problem is as an attack coach in 7’s its a case of keep the ball and the breaks will come. In XV’s it more about either creating unstructured defences through sustained go forward or set plays designed to move defences about and create gaps

      Amor’s focus will have been on improving the core underlying skills and decision making rather than set plays so not sure how well it will translate

      1. Surely a team has to make breaks appear by manipulating the defence out of posi, getting miss matches. They don’t just magically appear, whether in 7’s or 15’s. There’s more room in 7’s sure, but the principles in the creation of space are the same. Hopefully for England, Amor’s 7’s’ attack skills like speed, running lines, straightening of same with timing, as with passing & its accuracy, dummy runners, wraps, miss passes & back 3 line entry, may benefit the national side. If this is what you mean by ‘core underlying skills, then agree with you. May depend more on whether Jones allows Amor his head though, or if he reins in the latter’s philosophy considering it too ‘high risk’.

  3. May be a good thing to bring in new blood. The 2 new guys, Proudfoot & Amor, are for sure talking a good game. That’s one thing. Doing it’s another however. Proudfoot was part of a set up that won the WC. He was also part of the same set up that lost in that comp’s 1st round & which scraped by Wales. Amor’s utterannce about loving his country had slightly queasy Trump like connotations for me. His country is more likely to love him if he can persuade Jones to let him develop an unfettered attack which gets results pronto; like in the imminent 6N! Still, have to cut them some slack until the aforementioned tourney.. so long as they hit the ground running. Little wriggle room, or time. Gut feel? Initially favourable regarding Amor. Know little of Proudfoot, but maybe he’ll live up to his name. Hopefully, both will longer last the course for England whom may wish to retain, rather than haemorrhage, a couple more coaching gurus.

    1. Somewhere in the middle for me
      I want to see a lot of young new faces in camp and exposed to England training methods but for them to be Select/Capped/Blooded in a structured way.
      Key new faces should include:
      B.Obano, W.Stuart, J.Ford-Robinson, J.Kpoku, J.Hill, J.Willis, L.Ludlow, A.Dombrant, H.Taylor, M.Smith, J.Grayson, N.Tompkins, R.Segun, O.Thorley, G.Ibitoye, G.Furbank

      What I don’t want to see is D.Cole, G.Kruis, B.Youngs, W.Heinz or P.Francis in the squad. Scrum half should be full on revolution, Cole is too old Kruis is buggering off and Francis was never good enough

      I would also like to see replacements for these players being tried out, conceivably they could see be at the top of their game in 4 years time but lets look at other options in the meantime and avoid building a game plan around them only to see their form dip leading up to the next RWC. We can always recall them if they are still smashing it 18m out: Lawes (30), Wilson (29), Tuilagi (28), May (29), Joseph (28), Farrell (28)

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    2. Jones is too conservative for revolution I think. He’ll have an eye on his own future as well as that of England’s welfare. As he needs his team to win, or to perform impressively in the 6N. He’ll be watching in his rear view mirror, hoping that the RFU’s long knives don’t loom too large in his vision. To ensure that this isn’t the case, he’s unlikely to engage in any early major surgery. ITW of SCW, ‘it’s all about winning’, so initially at least, evolution may have to take a back seat.

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  4. Mmm. Depending on results over the nxt 2, will EJ still be in situ for in 2023? If he stays, likely to stick with the Vunipolas for example, even though they’ll be 31 & 34 @ the nxt WC. Attritionally, they may, may not, be past their sell bys by then. If Ed falls over like he did in the last WC final (as in 2003 BTW), he may be jettisoned. If so, this could change the balance of England’s team composition in 4 yrs. Therefore, it may not be the team names whom are so important, but more likely whether they, whomever they will lbe, fit into the pattern of play England may adopt in future.

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    1. The Vunipolae will be 30 (BV) and 32 (MV) which is pretty much the prime of their careers in their respective positions

      1. According to the Google page I read, they’ll be 31 & 34 in ’23, but of course Google may be wrong. In any event, age can be relative & takes no account of attrition or form, as per the last WC final I suppose.

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