Cycling - British Cycling coach joins England rugby set-up

One of British cycling's top coaches is to work full-time with the England rugby squad, the Rugby Football Union confirmed.

Matt Parker, British Cycling's former director of marginal gains, will start work early next month as England's head of athletic performance. There had been speculation last month about his appointment.

Parker will be joined by new senior team doctor Phil Batty, who arrives at Twickenham following spells with Manchester United, Manchester City and Blackburn.

Parker previously coached the British cycling men's endurance squad, masterminding two gold medals and two bronze medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

He also helped Bradley Wiggins between Beijing and the 2009 Tour de France, when Wiggins finished fourth, and was then upgraded to third after the Lance Armstrong scandal was fully exposed.

A year later, Parker took on the position of director of marginal gains in preparation for London 2012, a Games that resulted in eight gold medals being won.

England head coach Stuart Lancaster said: "Matt's experience across a number of sports and his record with British Cycling, be it in Beijing and London or the Tour de France with Bradley Wiggins, says a lot about his skills in developing champions, and we are looking forward to them transferring to a rugby environment."