James Lowes has been appointed as assistant to England Rugby League coach Steve McNamara ahead of the international matches against France and New Zealand this autumn.

Lowes, 45, is currently head coach at Bradford Bulls, where he played alongside McNamara, and replaces Paul Deacon as a member of England’s coaching team.
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The appointment sees Lowes return to the England coaching fold following a three-year spell as McNamara’s assistant between 2010 and 2012.

James Lowes said: “I thought my chance to coach at international level had gone so, when Steve called me a couple of weeks ago to discuss matters, I was thrilled to accept his offer.

“This is a massive honour for me and I am absolutely delighted to have this opportunity once again. To represent your country is a big thing, both as a player and as a coach.

“It is always great to work in different environments, and with different people, and I have a great working relationship with Steve.”

Lowes is looking forward to the international against France in October and the three-match series against Rugby League’s world No 1-ranked nation, New Zealand in November.

“It promises to be a fantastic series against the Kiwis. They enter as the world’s best side, having seen off Australia in the Anzac Test, but we will be relishing the challenge,” said Lowes.

“I think we have a fantastic opportunity and winning the series would certainly cap a memorable season for me personally.”

Lowes was part of the England programme developed in 2010 and the England coach is pleased they will be working together when they face France and New Zealand.

“James will hit the ground running when the England team get together,” said McNamara.

“He was part of the coaching staff when we introduced the Elite Training Squad in 2010 so he is well aware of our standards, our values and what we want to achieve.

“James will join myself and Paul Wellens on the coaching team. Paul has contributed a great deal over the last two years and will now take on greater responsibilities within the England team.

“It’s coming to that time of the season where international plans are taking shape and games are approaching quickly: it’s exciting. James will slot into this role quite naturally and do a great job for England.”

England’s international schedule kicks off at Leigh Sports Village on Saturday October 24 (2.00pm) with a match against France.

The three-game series against New Zealand starts at the KC Stadium, Hull on Sunday November 1 (5.00pm) moving on to The Stadium at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London on Saturday November 7 (2.30pm). The series concludes at the DW Stadium, Wigan on Saturday November 14 (1.00pm).

Tickets for England v France at Leigh Sports Village on Saturday October 24 (2.00pm) cost from as little as £10 for adults, £5 for concessions and £22.50 for a family ticket. Please visit www.rugbyleaguetickets.co.uk or call the Rugby League Ticket Hotline on 0844 856 1113.

Tickets to the three-game New Zealand series cost from £22 for adults and £10 for concessions per game. A three-match package costing just £45 for adults and £22.50 for concessions is also available. To purchase tickets please visit www.rugbyleaguetickets.co.uk or call the Rugby League Ticket Hotline on 0844 856 1113.