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John Mitchell appointed head coach of England Women

Former New Zealand men's coach John Mitchell will take over as England women's head coach later this year.

The 59-year-old will replace Simon Middleton, who stepped down following the Six Nations triumph at Twickenham on Saturday.

Currently defence coach for Japan's men's team, Mitchell will join England after the World Cup ends in October.

He said he wants England to "become a truly champion side that can rightfully contest for the World Cup in 2025".

Former England captain Sarah Hunter, who retired in March as the most capped player in women's rugby, will join Mitchell's backroom staff.

Forwards coach Louis Deacon will take charge of the side for World Rugby's new global women's competition WXV in October.

Mitchell said: "The Red Roses have set an incredible standard and foundation for women's rugby, being the most successful team in the Six Nations, which is a tremendous achievement. We now have the opportunity to build on this."

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