Brian Ashton back at Fylde

Brian Ashton
Brian Ashton

Brian Ashton is back at Fylde RFC to add his coaching expertise.

Ashton, who led England to the 2007 World Cup Final, has committed to attending one training session a week at the Woodlands and will also be at home matches after answering an open invitation to mentor and support the coaching staff.

Ashton is undertaking a consultancy role at the National League One club but is loath to pin himself to a hard-and-fast job title – he is simply keen to help out in any way he can.

The move had been warmly welcomed by Fylde headcoach Paul Arnold, who said: “I am a young, 36-year-old coach learning the job, so who would not want someone of the calibre of Brian Ashton to give his advice and help?”

The 70-year-old Ashton has had a long asscoation with Fylde, stretching back to his playing days, when he was regarded as one of the best scrum-halves never to be capped by England.

Ashton moved into coaching with outstanding success at international and club level. This is his second period at Fylde on a consultancy basis.

Ashton, who lives in the Lancaster area, said: “I am happy to be involved, helping out on a subject that I think I may know something about.

“You could call me a coaching consultant but I don’t really believe in titles.

“It came about after Fylde staged a Lancashire coaching conference. A couple of people from Sale Sharks pulled out and I was called in to replace them.

“I got talking to Paul Arnold and it progressed from there. Being a player-coach like Paul is a very difficult job. When you are doing the two roles, it is very hard to detach yourself.

“I have only done an hour with the players so far but they seem very enthusiastic and there looks to be a very good spirit among them. I have never lost my own enthusiasm for doing a job that I enjoy.”