Brian Ashton MBE Joins the Jackals as Rugby Consultant
The Dallas Jackals today announce that Brian Ashton MBE will be the Jackals’ Rugby Consultant for the 2022 Inaugural Season! Ashton has over four decades of coaching experience, led England to the 2007 World Cup Final, and is known as one of the most innovative coaches in rugby.
As Rugby Consultant, Ashton will play a key role in aiding the coaching staff towards the Dallas Jackals organizational goals. “At the core of our organization we have a two fold aim: be known as the most entertaining experience in Major League Rugby and develop domestic talent,” said Elaine Vassie, Jackals General Manager – Rugby. “This is a journey, a huge component of which is ensuring we have people who are keen to challenge how the game is played and coached and are excited by our purpose.”
Ashton’s coaching career commenced in Milan, Italy in 1977 before he made his Senior England debut as Assistant Coach in 1985. Ashton went on to be offered the Backs Coach role at Bath Rugby where he helped establish them as the dominant Premiership team for the next decade. Ashton took over as Head Coach in 1994 and led the team to its final domestic trophy two years later.
Ashton spent the following year as Head Coach of Ireland’s national team before returning to England (RFU) as Assistant Coach from 1998-2002. He spent the subsequent 4 years as RFU’s National Academy Manager and was a key part of establishing England’s National Academy system.
After a short stint back at Bath in 2006, Ashton was appointed England Head Coach. The following year would be one for the books. The 2007 campaign started off rough for the England side, but Ashton and the squad fought through earning a spot in the 2007 Rugby World Cup Final. In 2008, Ashton was awarded a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE), a prestigious high ranking honor awarded to those making a positive impact in their line of work. This year also marked England’s second place finish in the Six Nations.
In more recent years, Ashton has moved into consultancy and mentoring roles. The transition has taken him outside of just rugby with a focus on coaching in general. Ashton’s work has included consultancy roles within The Football Association, the governing body for England soccer, with stints in Premiership English Soccer sides. Through this period, he’s also worked with the likes of Fylde RFC as well as many individual coaches. Ashton has also been a regular feature on the world renowned International Rugby Academy of New Zealand (IRANZ) courses.
“I am delighted to have been asked to fulfill this consultancy position with the Dallas Jackals,” said Ashton. “I am excited by the Jackals’ purpose and look forward to assisting and challenging, in my supportive role, the coaching and playing staff throughout the season.”
Vassie continued on to say, “We would like to genuinely have an impact on domestic player development and to engage a new audience to rugby. To do this we have to think of the future, have players as key contributors to evolving both the on and off field experience, and give our coaches the support both structurally and emotionally to truly coach.”
On appointing Ashton as Rugby Consultant Vassie said, “I’ve known Brian for over 12 years and have seen first hand his passion for challenging how the game is played and coached as well as the support he’s offered to many players and coaches. I couldn’t think of a better person to mentor, consult, and support Dallas Jackals on this journey.”
Welcome to the Pack Brian and his wife Helen!
About Dallas Jackals —
The Dallas Jackals are a professional rugby team of Major League Rugby (MLR), the highest level of rugby competition in North America. The Jackals were named as an expansion team in 2020 and will play their inaugural season in 2022. The team’s central mission is to develop domestic talent to a world-class level of play and professionalism while strengthening the high- performance pathway in DFW by supporting the local clubs. Through proactive Community Outreach, the Jackals will exemplify and spread the passion of rugby by inspiring tradition, respect, family, and character on and off the pitch.
About MLR —
Major League Rugby is a professional sports league entering its fifth season and represents the highest level of rugby competition in North America. The League evolved from seven teams in 2018, to 13 teams in 2022, featuring 12 from the United States and one from Canada. Matches are televised on CBS Sports Network, Fox Sports 2, and ESPN+, among other national and local market platforms. All matches are available on Facebook Live for international fans. MLR prides itself in fostering intense and high-stakes competition, while bringing together a passionate community built on the values of Respect, Inclusivity, and Tradition. For more information about MLR, visit MajorLeague.Rugby.
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