Walton, along with John Fletcher, was let go by the Rugby Football Union last month and the decision sparked an outpouring of support, with players and coaches up and down the country lauding the positive impact the pair had had, not only on England, but also on their own careers.
? | "It's all about growing your local talent. Bristol are looking to create that here."
— Bristol Bears (@BristolBears) July 12, 2018
A former Newcastle Falcons player and coach, Walton had spent 10 years with the RFU, coaching the England U18 side and helping mould the likes of Maro Itoje, Joe Launchbury, Billy Vunipola and many, many more.
Bristol have been quick to swoop for the man who helped hone those players and allowed them to reach their potential and they will hope his presence in their U18 coaching team allows them to push forward their next generation of talent in the pack.
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With one of Bristol’s goals under Pat Lam being to build a Champions Cup team that leans heavily on a homegrown, Bristolian core, the arrival of Walton will only help the club to realise that ambition.
Walton will supplement the coaching team of Mike Hall, Sean Marsden and Gary Townsend in the south-west and is the latest of a number of additions by Lam, who is building an impressive off-field staff as Bristol seek to consolidate their place back in the Gallagher Premiership.
John Muldoon has also been brought in this summer, joining the likes of Jonathan Thomas, Bruce Reihana, Gareth Delve and Lam’s trusty assistant coach Conor McPhillips at Ashton Gate and the club will certainly not lack for professional rugby experience or youthful enthusiasm in their coaching staff this season.
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