Oliver takes over Bristol reins on temporary basis

Kim Oliver, the former Bristol Ladies and England international fly-half or centre, has taken temporary charge of Bristol Ladies following the departure, by mutual agreement, of head coach Kris de Scossa.

De Scossa took up the post of head coach in June, having been Canada Women’s co-coach and Wales Women head coach, and having also worked professionally in England, Australia and Italy.

After losing their opening match 31-24 at home to Richmond in the new Tyrrells Premier 15s League, Bristol have won three on the bounce, including last weekend’s 28-20 West Country clash with Gloucester-Hartpury at Ash- ton Gate.

After retiring from rugby, Oliver worked as a coach with Bristol University Ladies, Frome College and Cleve RFC U18 girls, a community rugby coach for Bath Rugby, and Bath Ladies head coach, before two years as a Rugby Development Officer with Gibraltar Rugby.

Although Oliver started playing rugby as a junior at Chippenham RFC, her first involvement in sport was in judo from the age of five, before switching to rugby four years later, but she still attained a Judo Black Belt.

She was with Avon Girls for two years, and Avon Women for a season before joining Bristol as a 17-year-old, where she remained until her retirement from the sport due to injury in May 2013, having moved through the England ranks.

Oliver wore the Red Rose for England Academy, England U18s and the England A team before gaining the first of her 43 senior caps on an England tour to New Zealand against Samoa in 2005.

She played in Six Nations campaigns during which England won four championship titles and was also involved in the 2006 and 2010 Women’s World Cup squads, where England narrowly lost to New Zealand in the final.

Third-placed Bristol’s next Tyrrells Premier 15s fixture is against unbeaten league leaders Harlequins on Saturday at the Twickenham Stoop, kick-off 3.00 pm. Quins previously played as Aylesford Bulls.

This article first appeared in the Independent. To get the latest articles when they appear, buy the print edition every Sunday or subscribe to our online edition HERE.