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England coach Middleton to step down after Women’s Six Nations

England head coach Simon Middleton will leave his job at the end of the upcoming Women’s Six Nations, it was announced on Monday.

The 57-year-old guided the Red Roses to the World Cup final in 2017 and 2022, but they lost to New Zealand on each occasion.

Middleton’s side had set a record-breaking 30-match winning run before they were edged out by the Black Ferns 34-31 in Auckland in November.

After taking charge in 2015, Middleton guided England to five Six Nations titles, including four Grand Slams, but feels the time is right for a change.

“Representing England in a coaching or playing capacity must be the pinnacle of any sporting career, and I can’t put into words how proud and fortunate I’ve been to be able to do this,” Middleton said on the Rugby Football Union website.

RFU performance director Conor O’Shea said: “He has achieved more than most coaches ever do but for me it’s the manner he has conducted himself as a person and his commitment to making the Red Roses the best they can be that stands out above the wins and the awards.”

Defending champions England launch their 2023 Six Nations campaign against Scotland in Newcastle on March 25.

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