Kenilworth RFC has appointed former France and New Zealand defence coach David Ellis as Head Coach with immediate effect, completing the club's set up for the 2018/19 campaign.
The role will see Ellis work with Will Maisey and George Oram who have also joined the club this season. They will work as Backs Coach and Forwards Coach respectively, alongside their playing commitments at Coventry Rugby Club.
Ellis began his career in rugby league in the 1970s, making over 700 appearances for clubs such as Castleford Tigers, Doncaster, Keighley Cougars and Brisbane. He then switched codes and turned his attentions to coaching in the 15-a-side game when he joined Racing Club de France in 1999.
He went on to become Defence Coach for the France national side in 2000, a role he held for eleven years. During that time he won the Six Nations five times (including three Grand Slams) and helped mastermind France's famous victory over New Zealand in the 2007 Rugby World Cup quarter finals before reaching the Rugby World Cup final four years later in New Zealand. In addition, Ellis worked with the All Blacks during the 2005 British and Irish Lions tour and coached Tonga for two years between 2012 and 2014.
Ellis also brings a vast amount of professional club rugby experience in both England and France to the Glasshouse Lane-based club. During his career he has held coaching roles at Gloucester and London Irish, as well as across the water at Racing, Bordeaux, Castres, Brive and Lyon.
Jai Purewal, Director of Rugby at Kenilworth RFC, commented: “It is absolutely fantastic that David has chosen to join Kenilworth RFC.
"We are a club with a rich tradition and a big future made even more exciting with this latest appointment. Our coaching team rivals that of most clubs across the region, providing our largely home grown squad with a great opportunity to go on and find success.
"Off-the-field plans are also well underway to provide facilities, equal to our ambitious coaching team, for the benefit of all Kenilworth RFC players and supporters alike.”
Kenilworth begin their 2018/19 Midlands 2 West (South) campaign away to Old Laurentians on Saturday, with Ellis set to take charge of his first competitive match at the club. That follows a 62-17 victory at home to the Broadstreet Development XV in their final pre-season fixture at the weekend.