Deacon appointed to England coaching staff

Date published: Thursday, July 25, 2013

England Rugby League have appointed Paul Deacon, who started his career as a teenager at Watersheddings, as assistant coach to Steve McNamara.

Deacon, 34, will work alongside McNamara and the existing England staff as the national team continues its preparations ahead of the Rugby League World Cup, which gets underway in the autumn.

A former Oldham, Bradford Bulls and Wigan Warriors scrum-half, Deacon represented Great Britain on 10 occasions and played for England four times during his 13-year playing career. He is currently a member of the Wigan coaching staff working with the First Team and Academy.

Welcoming Deacon to his coaching team, McNamara said he was looking forward to working with Deacon, who he played with during his career at Bradford Bulls.

“Paul is one of the best upcoming coaches in the country with a wealth of experience playing at the top level in the Super League,” said McNamara.

“As a player, Paul was a model professional and he is now developing into an excellent coach. I’m sure all the players involved in the England programme will benefit from his vast knowledge.

“He will be able to offer understanding and experience in a number of areas and his insight as a top class half-back will be invaluable in the work he will be doing with the playmakers in the squad.

“Paul will continue the excellent work developed by James Lowes, the former England RL assistant coach, who we wish well in his new role in rugby union.

“I would like to place on record my thanks to Wigan Warriors and their chairman Ian Lenagan and head coach Shaun Wane for supporting this appointment.”

Deacon said he was thrilled at being given the opportunity to work with the sport’s elite players as England prepare for a massive year of international Rugby League.

“It is a great honour and a terrific opportunity for me and one I’m really looking forward to being involved with,” said Deacon.

“I am looking forward to working with the best English players and passing on my experience. We have some fantastic talent coming through and to be involved at the highest level enabling England to realise its goal of winning a major tournament is something I will relish.”

Speaking about the news, Wigan Warriors Chairman Ian Lenagan said:

“We are thrilled for Paul that he has been given this fantastic opportunity with England and it is full credit to him that his hard work with Wigan has been recognised by Steve McNamara.

“Paul will continue his vitally important role with us here at Wigan and will join up with the England Squad later in the year for the World Cup.”

Deacon will continue in his coaching role with Wigan and will join up with the England squad later in the year ahead of start of the Rugby League World Cup.

England begin their Rugby League World Cup campaign against Australia at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff on Saturday October 26.

Tickets are now on sale for RLWC2013, with 55 per cent of tickets priced £20 or less. To purchase tickets please visit www.rlwc2013.com or call the 24-hour Ticket Hotline on 0844 847 2013.