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England Touch High Performance coaches following ‘rock star’ footsteps

England Touch’s High Performance leaders are following in the footsteps of some of rugby’s leading coaching luminaries with an appearance on The Magic Academy podcast this week.

Ben Powell (High Performance Director), Sammie Phillips (Head of Elite Performance) and Peter Bell (Head Coach) are Russell Earnshaw’s latest guests, talking all things Touch, from identification and development of talent all the way up to delivering medals at international championships.

The England Touch trio are following the likes of Eddie Jones (England), Stuart Lancaster (Leinster), Scott Robertson (Crusaders), Wayne Smith (New Zealand), Clark Laidlaw (New Zealand 7s) and a whole host of international players in talking to Earnshaw, who himself has many years of experience coaching at club and international level and a reputation for innovation working alongside former England Under-18s Head Coach and Newcastle Falcons Director of Rugby, John Fletcher.

“It’s a privilege for us to be asked onto the podcast, especially given some of the other guests Rusty and Fletch have had,” Phillips commented. “We welcomed Rusty to one of our High Performance camps earlier in the year to observe how we do things and give us some pointers as to how we can improve, and all the coaches within the England national teams set-up took plenty of positives from the session.

“We’ve come a long way over the past few years, and it’s great both to get an outside perspective on things but also to have the opportunity to talk about Touch to a wider audience.”

Earnshaw says that he was impressed by what he saw at the High Performance camp in Hounslow.

“England Touch might be a voluntary organisation but it’s very professional in the approach, whether it is in the structure of the coaching team, the support that the players get, and the sessions which are put together,” he said.

“Ben and Sammie really know their stuff, with Peter Bell one of Australia’s most successful and experienced coaches, and everything is geared towards making England a serious challenger to New Zealand and Australia when the next World Cup comes around in 2023.

“There’s a perception that Touch is just a social sport, but at the highest level there are plenty of intricacies and subtleties which mark the best teams out from the others, and the skill levels and fitness requirements are top class.

“It was a pleasure to have them on The Magic Academy and hopefully we’ll see England achieve good things in next year’s European Championships and Youth World Cup.”

You can listen to the podcast now at, iTunes, Spotify and all other good podcast outlets.

England Touch has been making a major effort during the lockdown to pass on the knowledge of the High Performance and executive management to the entire Touch community during the lockdown with a series of online workshops and coaching courses.

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