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Tom Tainton

Tom Tainton writes

Posted Tuesday, September 4th 2018

Walton confirmed as Academy forwards and transition coach

Bristol Bears Academy are delighted to confirm the appointment of Peter Walton as forwards and transition coach.

With Mark Irish stepping into the role of first team scrum coach, Walton initially linked up with the U18s as an interim consultant.

The former Scotland back rower – who most recently was England U18s assistant coach – has overseen the development of some of England’s most talented forwards including the likes of Maro Itoje and Billy Vunipola.

During his time with England U18s, Walton and his coaching team oversaw three consecutive Grand Slams and had a sequence of 19 victories from mid-2008 until July 2010.

Head coach Pat Lam said: “A core of Bristolians in the first team is a key part of the Bristol Bears vision, as is developing our young players into full England internationals, so Peter’s input and expertise will help us to realise this ambition.

Pete Walton with England U18s (Getty).

“I’m excited about the vision that is in place here, but also the opportunities that are afforded to younger players to showcase their talents in the senior environment.”

Peter Walton

“Peter is a quality coach and person, who I played with at Newcastle for two seasons, he will add significant value to the development of our young, talented Academy players.

“Along with Mark Irish and Sean Marsden, Peter will form part of the wider coaching group to ensure alignment and transition through to the first team.”

Academy manager Mike Hall said: “It’s a fantastic coup for the Academy to attract somebody of Peter’s calibre and coaching ability to the role.

“He’s fitted into the culture right away and we’re already seeing the benefit of his contribution to our young players.”

A back rower with Northampton Saints and Newcastle Falcons during his playing days, Walton went on to join the coaching team of Falcons Academy, working closely with the likes of David Wilson, Rory Best and Geoff Parling. He became Newcastle’s first team forwards coach in 2005.

“I’m enjoying working with the Bristol Bears Academy and it was an easy decision to commit to the role on a full-time basis,” he added.

“I’m excited about the vision that is in place here, but also the opportunities that are afforded to younger players to showcase their talents in the senior environment.

“We have a huge amount of talent coming through and it’s important that we nurture and develop these guys to give them the best possible chance to pull on a Bristol Bears jersey in future."


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