Mike Ford appointed Germany head coach for World Cup repechage
Last Updated: 07/09/18 12:44pm
Germany have appointed Mike Ford as head coach for their World Cup repechage campaign in November.
Ford, who worked as a defence coach with England and the British and Irish Lions before head coach roles with Bath and Toulon, will take charge of Germany for their games against Hong Kong, Canada and Kenya.
"I am delighted that I now have the opportunity to develop such an ambitious team as Germany, and possibly even lead them to a World Cup for the first time," said Ford.
Germany were thumped by Samoa in a playoff for an automatic place at next year's World Cup in Japan.
They have another chance to qualify in the repechage competition in Marseille. They play Hong Kong on 11 November, Canada on 17 November and Kenya on 23 November.
"Of course it is a big challenge, but that is what makes this task so attractive," said Ford.
"I think that this national team has a lot of potential."
Germany finished bottom of last season's scandal-hit Rugby Europe International Championships, but were promoted to second after Belgium, Spain and Romania were deducted points for fielding ineligible players.
German-born Swiss businessman Hans-Peter Wild, the owner of Stade Francais, is providing financial support to Germany's governing body to help "exploit this unique opportunity".
Ford, who represented England and Great Britain at international level in rugby league, is currently taking a sabbatical from his director of rugby role at Dallas Griffins, who plan to join Major League Rugby next year.