RFU youth coaches axed as Dean Ryan stamps his authority

By beating South Africa 32-31 on Tuesday night, England reached the World Under-20 Championship final for a record sixth consecutive occasion. On the surface that would appear to be yet another vindication of the Rugby Football Union’s youth development policy but behind the scenes the most successful programme within English professional rugby is being ruthlessly dismantled.  

At least seven members of the development programme have moved on since Dean Ryan took over as the head of international player development less than two years ago. 

The latest victims of the bloodletting are John Fletcher and Peter Walton, the universally popular former coaches of the England Under-18 team who were summarily…


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