Two Oldhamers to play key roles for England Rugby League

Date published: 24 January 2019

Oldhamers Kevin Sinfield and Paul Sculthorpe will play lead roles in driving England Rugby League forward in 2019.

A restructure of the England Performance Unit (EPU) involves an expanded role for Paul MBE and contract extensions for Kevin MBE and Jamie Peacock MBE.

'Scully', named England Pathways coach, will work with all EPU teams and focus on the country’s outstanding young players, from junior academy to Knights level.

'Sinny', who joined the RFL as rugby director in 2016 and has continued in that role since being appointed director of rugby at Leeds Rhinos last summer, has committed to the RFL role until 2022.

Peacock, who has been working as England team manager since July, 2016, has also extended his agreement with the RFL until 2021.

Paul Anderson will continue as Knights head coach in a consultancy role after joining Warrington’s backroom staff and ex-Warrington forward David Elliott remains as National Programme Manager and head coach of the England Academy team, after the 2-0 series victory over Australian Schoolboys last month.

Ralph Rimmer, RFL chief executive, said: “We created the EPU last January, after looking at proposals from Kevin Sinfield, and results in 2018 speak for themselves.

“Our senior England men’s team won four out of five Tests, three of them against New Zealand.

“England Women had a big win in France, although we recognise that securing more international competition for them is a major priority for 2019 and beyond, and on a memorable Saturday in October, the Knights made it three wins out of three for our England teams when they won their first international in Papua New Guinea.

“That was followed by the superb performances of Dave Elliott’s England Academy team against the Australian Schoolboys.

“So it’s great to announce that Kevin Sinfield, Jamie Peacock and Paul Sculthorpe - three outstanding players of the Super League era – will retain key roles in the EPU, as we continue to build towards hosting the Rugby League World Cup in 2021."