David Ralph helped Britain to a bronze medal at Tokyo 2020 ©Getty Images

David Ralph has been appointed as the head coach of the England and Britain women's international hockey teams.

Ralph, who has been assistant coach for both since 2017, takes over from Australian Mark Hager, who has been named as Hockey Australia’s National Athlete Pathway Program technical lead.

"I am delighted to be appointed to the position of head coach for the Great Britain and England women’s teams," said the Briton.

"Having worked with both since early 2017, it is a privilege and an honour to be given the opportunity to continue working with such an excellent group of players and staff.

"This is a programme that has a rich history of success and has been at the forefront of raising the profile of women’s team sport, and I relish the opportunity to continue that work and write our own history as I believe that we possess a great deal of quality within the group."

GB Hockey said there was a "worldwide application" for the role.

Englishman Adrian Lock was reportedly seen as a contender before committing to his current role with Spain's women.

The selection panel was made up of Commonwealth gold medal-winning netball coach Tracey Neville, Australian Olympic rowing coach Paul Thompson and British hockey players Katy Roberts and Simon Mantell.

"David was the outstanding candidate from a worldwide application and short-listed group," said England and GB Hockey performance director Ed Barney.

"The panel were unanimous in their view that David will excel in leading the senior women forward.

"He expressed a real depth of passion and excitement for the role.

"Alongside this, the panel could clearly see the creativity and innovation that David will bring not only to the senior women, but also the deep commitment to supporting the full women’s pathway.

"Over the past few years and in the lead up to Tokyo, those of us fortunate to work with David have seen the clarity, depth of knowledge, confidence and good humour that he has brought to the senior women’s programme.

"We know he will bring huge acumen over the coming years and wish him the very best."

Ralph has plenty on his plate as the 2021-2022 Women's Pro League, the 2022 Women's World Cup and the 2022 Commonwealth Games headline a packed schedule of hockey in the coming year.