5 Jan 2024

England call on NZ coach for Six Nations

6:02 am on 5 January 2024
Andrew Strawbridge with the All Blacks at the Rugby World Cup France 2023

Andrew Strawbridge with the All Blacks at the Rugby World Cup France 2023 Photo: Andrew Cornaga/www.photosport.nz

New Zealand coach Andrew Strawbridge will join England's coaching group as a consultant for the first four weeks of the Six Nations.

The 59-year-old was part of the All Blacks set-up as a skills consultant at the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

After a playing career at Waikato, Strawbridge moved into coaching holding senior positions at National Provincial level with North Harbour for two seasons from 2003 and Auckland for three seasons from 2009. During this time, he was also part of the coaching set-up that saw New Zealand Under 20's secure two world titles.

From there, Strawbridge took on the role of assistant coach in the 2012 and 2013 back-to-back Super Rugby winning campaigns with the Chiefs.

In 2015, he received senior international recognition with Manu Samoa having accepted the role of Technical Advisor.

Strawbridge then returned to Waikato in 2019 as head coach, a position he held for two years before transitioning to director of rugby in 2021.

2022 saw Strawbridge join the All Blacks as a skills consultant and he continued his involvement with the national team throughout 2023.

"Andrew is another coach with a wealth of knowledge," said England men's head coach, Steve Borthwick.

"He has worked extensively and successfully in Super Rugby and international rugby, most recently with New Zealand to help them to the final of the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

"Andrew has an incredible reputation in player development and has helped a large number of players progress to be amongst the best in the world. His work around the contact area is incredibly highly regarded, ensuring teams have the quick ball needed to launch a threatening attack.

"I can't wait for him to join the team and add the enormous value that I know he will bring."

Incoming assistant coach Felix Jones, who joins the coaching set-up having helped South Africa to back-to-back World Cup triumphs, will now be responsible for England's defence with Kevin Sinfield moving to coaching individual skills and the kickers. Richard Wigglesworth continues as attack coach and Tom Harrison remains in charge of the scrum.