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Catt: We could still use Smith's advice

Mike Catt is relishing the chance to work with the new-look England side but believes head coach Stuart Lancaster could still use Wayne Smith's expertise, even though the New Zealander initially turned down the role.

Former England centre Catt accepted a short-term contract to be involved in the coaching team for England's summer tour of South Africa after Smith decided to stay in New Zealand due to family reasons.

"I still don't know why Stuart can't tap into Wayne's knowledge anyway," Catt said. "Graham Henry is still doing stuff around the world and I think Stuart has a good enough relationship with Wayne to be able to do that."

While Catt refuses to look too far into the future and lay claim to a more permanent position with the national set-up following Smith's decision, he admits the World Cup-winning assistant coach could still act in an advisory role.

"I think everyone could learn massively from Wayne, but obviously for family reasons he's decided not to get involved but it gives other people opportunities to stake their claim," he said.

Catt, who won 75 caps for England, is set to leave his coaching role at Aviva Premiership side London Irish to join the Rugby Football Union after their last game of the season on Saturday and expects to help improve England's back-line.

"I've got a two-month window that I need to make sure I get things right, make sure I complement Stuart and Graham in everything they do and that I get the players on board too," Catt said.

And Catt is hoping to slot straight in to the England side and fit in with the new culture and belief.

"International rugby is a very tough environment and I need to make sure I'm doing the right thing so I will sit down and have a chat with him on Tuesday and see exactly what direction we need to go in," he said.

The step up to international level comes after Catt spent three years on the coaching staff at London Irish where he ended his playing career in 2010.


From Belfast Telegraph