May 1, 2012 / 11:26 AM / in 8 years

Rugby-Catt joins England coaching team for South Africa tour

LONDON, May 1 (Reuters) - Mike Catt will join England’s coaching staff for next month’s five-match tour of South Africa, the Rugby Football Union (RFU) said on Tuesday.

The South African-born former England utility back will leave London Irish after Saturday’s final Premiership game against Gloucester for England duties from May 7 to June 30.

“Mike has played at the top level and is highly respected. He has done a great job whilst coaching at London Irish and we are looking forward to working with him on this South Africa tour,” said England head coach Stuart Lancaster in a statement.

“He is experienced in playing in South Africa and this will be invaluable as we prepare for this challenging and exciting tour.”

Catt, a World Cup winner who retired from international rugby in 2007, has been with London Irish since 2004.

England open their tour of South Africa in Durban on June 9 with the first of three tests.

The second test will be played in Johannesburg on June 16 after a midweek match against the South Africa Barbarians South in Kimberley on June 13. They then play South Africa Barbarians North in Potchefstroom on June 19.

The final test is in Port Elizabeth, Catt’s birthplace, on June 23.

Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Ed Osmond

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