Catt poised for full-time England role
August 8, 2012
Mike Catt is set to be made a permanent part of the England coaching team as a specialist skills coach © Getty Images
Catt was drafted in on a temporary basis for the recent tour of South Africa and his hopes of retaining his place among Lancaster's support staff appeared to rescind following Andy Farrell's return to the England set-up as one of two assistant coaches alongside Graham Rowntree.
But Lancaster has revealed that Catt made a significant impression during his time with the squad and is set to be rewarded with a permanent position.
"I am meeting him next week and looking forward to having a good chat with him about a future skills role," said Lancaster. "It isn't confirmed yet, but I am hopeful that it will progress soon and we can get that organised for November.
"I think the players enjoyed working with him and he helped them in lots of little ways and with lots of little skill sessions around the wider rugby sessions."
Lancaster, speaking at the conclusion of a three-day England camp, is keen to spread the workload ahead of a testing end-of-year campaign that will see his side tackle southern hemisphere giants Australia, South Africa and New Zealand as well as Fiji.
"I have always been of the mindset that I don't want to leave myself too stretched," he said. "South Africa was a huge challenge because there were three Test matches and to mid-week games and the England job itself is a big stretch in terms of the breadth of things that I have to cover.
"I want to make sure that I give the players the best support to make them the best that they can be and whilst I will still clearly have an involvement with the coaching in terms of the overall direction, and I'm definitely not going to give up my whistle and my tracksuit, to have people that can give specialist support, feedback and coaching will be good for me and I think he can offer that."
Reflecting on the camp that saw that included a thorough review of the tour to South Africa and planning for the autumn and beyond, Lancaster said: "The players now have a really good understanding of what they need to do, what we expect from them and now it's down to them to perform in the Premiership.
"Our next step will be to spend time with the clubs and feedback to the players so they are clear about where they stand in the pecking order and what they need to do to play."
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Graham Jenkins is the Senior Editor of ESPNscrum and you can also follow him on Twitter.
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