Blaze joins England as November fixtures confirmed

England’s autumn internationals in November against the USA, Canada and Ireland cannot arrive quickly enough for head coach Simon Middleton.

England’s autumn internationals in November against the USA, Canada and Ireland cannot arrive quickly enough for head coach Simon Middleton.

The Red Rose will take on the USA, fourth at last year’s World Cup, on November 9 at Saracens’ Allianz Park before their first ever game at Castle Park, Doncaster.

Canada will be the visitors in Yorkshire on November 18 before the autumn series concludes at Twickenham on November 24 against Six Nations rivals Ireland.

It will be the first fixtures for England with newly appointed forwards coach Richard Blaze who arrives with the national set up from Leicester Tigers.

Blaze, who replaces Matt Ferguson, will link up with head coach Middleton and backs coach Scott Bemand in the England coaching set up.

All three Quilter Internationals games will be available to watch live on Sky Sports with also streaming the match at Castle Park which starts at 2pm.

Middleton said: “With no summer tour this year, the Quilter Internationals cannot come soon enough. The squad are raring to go and we couldn’t wish for a better start than against the USA.

“They are an international team on the rise, evidenced by their performance in the semi-final of last year’s Women’s Rugby World Cup.

“We are really excited to host a first women’s international in Yorkshire before returning to Twickenham which is always a great occasion.

“We are delighted to appoint Richard Blaze as forwards coach. Richard brings a wealth of experience to the programme and will add great value to the team.

“He has already proven himself to be of the highest calibre of coaches within the Gallagher Premiership with Leicester Tigers.

“He has high performance and international experience as a player and is a proven developer of young players from his time with England U20.

“To recruit a coach of his capability is testimony to the direction in which women’s rugby is going.”

England beat Canada 3-0 in their home series last autumn, have an impressive 17 wins from 18 games against the United States and got the better of Ireland in the most recent Six Nations campaign 33-11.

And new coach Blaze cannot wait to get stuck into his new role claiming he’s been extremely impressed by what he’s seen of the women’s game from afar.

Blaze added: “I very much enjoyed my time at Leicester and with the U20s and this is an excellent opportunity which I’ve no doubt will make me a better coach in the long term.

“This is a talented group of players and I look forward to working with the Red Roses to help them grow and improve.

“I have already spent some time out with the clubs and it’s exciting to see the strength and depth of women’s rugby in England with Tyrrells Premier 15s.

“I’ve been very impressed with what I’ve seen so far. We will be striving for excellence as we build through to the 2021 Women’s Rugby World Cup.”

Quilter Internationals 2018

England Women v USA Women – Friday 9 November – Allianz Park (KO 7.45pm, Sky Sports Action)

England Women v Canada Women – Sunday 18 November – Castle Park (KO 2pm, Sky Sports and

England Women v Ireland Women – Saturday 24 November – Twickenham Stadium (KO 5.40pm, Sky Sports Action and Sky Sports Mix)

To buy tickets for England’s Quilter International fixtures click here.