04 Dec 13
When Matt Hopper runs out for Harlequins during this year's Big Game, it will mark his third appearance at Twickenham Stadium in his Club colours.
Since being appointed as a National Academy Coach in January 2007, Mapletoft has spent the last three years working within the RFU Elite Rugby Department under Rob Andrew, Head of Elite Coach Development Kevin Bowring and Head of Elite Player Development Stuart Lancaster.
During his time in the Elite Rugby Department, Mapletoft has spent two seasons as Assistant Coach to Nigel Redman, during which time the highlights were an U20 Grand Slam in 2008 and reaching the IRB Junior World Championships Final in 2008. Since then, Mark has led the England U20 programme as Head Coach again reaching the final of the Junior World Championships in 2009. This season, expectations are even higher and he is fully committed to achieving the ultimate goal of winning the 2010 Junior World Championship, which takes place in Argentina in June.
Players he has worked with in the National Academy system, and within the England U20 age group, who have gone on to Senior England EPS international recognition include Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers), Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints) and Matthew Mullan (Worcester Warriors).