Amy Turner played as a forward for England and Harlequins.

Amy Turner, who was set to join England’s World Cup coaching staff, has joined Harlequins Women as head coach.

Former England forward Turner, who also coached the national under-20 team, previously played for Queens before becoming an assistant coach at the club.

Turner told BBC Sport she “simply couldn’t turn down” the opportunity.

Her appointment leaves England without a female member of the coaching staff at the World Cup in New Zealand in October and November.

The Rugby Football Union (RFU) said it was “working in collaboration with World Rugby on the next steps” to find a replacement. England’s first match of the tournament will be against Fiji on October 8.

Following the departure of Gerard Mullen, who led Quins to the Premier 15s title in 2021, Turner will be supported by assistant coach Brent Janse van Rensberg, former Bath men’s defense coach, and Harlequins full-back Ross Chisolm.

Matt Walson joins from Melbourne Rebels as strength and conditioning coach.

Quins director of rugby Billy Millard said: “Amy is a talented coach who knows Premier 15s and women’s rugby very well.

“We are committed to supporting her development into the best female coach in England and we are delighted that she is leading our program into a new era.”

Turner said she was looking forward to the new coaching group “putting our heads together” and “engaging the players in some intense, hard, hot Harlequin style rugby”.

There is a hole left in England that needs to be filled

Turner was due to join England in New Zealand in the squad World Rugby Coaching Internship Programme, which is designed to ensure that every team has a female coach at the World Cup and achieve 40% female representation in international coaching staff by 2025.

The former police officer’s departure leaves the Red Roses – who travel to New Zealand as world number one and favorites to win the title – with a vacancy to fill at short notice. There are many women in the England team, but Turner was the only female coach.

Turner believes her new role proves the internship has worked, saying, “It’s designed to put women in the shoes of getting roles in high-performance environments.

“It was not a difficult choice. I’ve been involved as a coaching staff in England’s last two autumn internationals, seen them develop into a really professional, physical form.’

Turner added that England head coach Simon Middleton was “very, very happy for me”.

RFS announces a new under-20 coach.

“I will bring players if needed”

Most of the Premier 15 teams have already completed their player transfers for next season, with Gloucester Hartpury making some of the most eye-catching signings, including the acquisition of young England prop Maud Muir from Wasps.

Quins have yet to make any high-profile signings, but Turner said: “If I feel there is a need to bring in more players, I will hold discussions to make plans to do so.

“When there was a need to strengthen our depth in the fields, Harlequins made it clear they were investing in the women’s game.”

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