A number of valuable additions to the England Rugby League backroom staff have today been announced by the men’s Head Coach Shaun Wane in preparation for RLWC2021.
The men’s strength and conditioning coach will be the former St Helens, England and Great Britain winger Ade Gardner, currently head of performance at Warrington Wolves. Barrow-born Gardner, 37, crossed the whitewash 173 times during 12 seasons at St Helens, and represented both England and Great Britain on five occasions.
Steve McCormack, the vastly experienced Head of Welfare at RL Cares, will also now lead on player welfare across all four England senior squads: men’s; women’s; wheelchair and PDRL. McCormack has extensive coaching experience at every level, including World Cup campaigns with Scotland, and earlier this week achieved the Level 4 Certificate in Elite Athlete Wellbeing – a prestigious and internationally-recognised player welfare qualification.
Shaun Wane says: “For the first time ever we’ve brought in a player welfare manager in. Looking after the players is imperative and Steve is one of only two people in the UK to have got the wellbeing qualification.
“Ade is a very good bloke and a very smart operator, and he’s going to do a great job for us. I spoke to Karl Fitzpatrick and Steve Price at Warrington and asked about permission. They were all for it. They’re all very forward thinking and that adds to the relationship between owners, CEOs and coaches.”
Also joining the England set-up are another highly-respected duo: Gardner’s Warrington Wolves colleague Chris Baron and Wigan Warriors’ Mark Bitcon.