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Dublin: 10°C Tuesday 11 May 2021

Ex-England prop Rowntree joins Georgia coaching team ahead of World Cup

Rowntree recently left his role with Harlequins, citing personal reasons.

GEORGIA’S WORLD CUP preparations have been boosted by the appointment of former England prop Graham Rowntree as their forwards coach ahead of next year’s tournament in Japan.

The 47-year-old recently left his role at Premiership club Harlequins citing personal reasons, and now joins Milton Haig’s coaching team after being unveiled in London today.

Chiefs v British and Irish Lions - Tour Match - FMG Stadium Rowntree was part of the Lions coaching team in 2017. Source: David Davies

After retiring in 2007, Rowntree — capped 54 times at international level — was England forwards coach for eight years under Martin Johnson and Stuart Lancaster, and was part of Warren Gatland’s backroom team for the Lions during last summer’s drawn series in New Zealand.

With a wealth of experience, Rowntree’s appointment is a major coup for Georgia as they gear up for their World Cup campaign opener against Wales on 23 September 2019 under Kiwi head coach Haig.

“I’ve not felt like this before about a role, obviously this is the most excited I’ve been for any role,”Rowntree said.

“I’ve been a fan of Georgian forwards’ play for long time, and that’s the opportunity I could not miss.

“The warmth that has been shown to me by Milton and everyone else in the organisation, it spurred me and further increased my excitement and I can’t wait to get stuck into the games in the Autumn.”

Rowntree’s first game involved in the Georgian set-up will be the clash with Italy in Florence on 10 November, as preparations intensify for the World Cup.

Georgia have been drawn in Pool D alongside Australia, Wales, Fiji and Uruguay.

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Ryan Bailey

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