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    University to host youth rugby coaching event

    Posted 7 September 2014

    “We are really excited about the line-up we have assembled for this year’s conference and the addition of the stream for volunteers adds a whole new dimension to the day."

    Shropshire Rugby Development Group (SRDG) has announced that the third S12 Shropshire Rugby Conference will take place on September 21, at Harper Adams University. 

    This year’s conference will feature keynote addresses from Matt Ferguson, who was the first ever Shropshire Community Rugby Coach and later the RFU Rugby Development Officer for the county. He is currently Assistant Coach at newly-promoted Premiership side, London Welsh. 

    Also speaking are Jon Callard, the newly-appointed RFU National Performance Academy Manager and International Performance Coach, and former Bath and Leeds coach, and Joe Lydon, one-time Head of Rugby at the Welsh RFU, who now manages the international performance pathway that provides a pipeline of international players for England Rugby. 

    Back after a highly successful keynote last year is Russell Earnshaw, who played for England Sevens from 1997-2003 and has, most recently, had a dual role as Director of Rugby and player at Birmingham Solihull RFC. 

    The event is being sponsored by locally-based companies CAT and SportsJam and by Shropshire RFU and North Midlands RFU. The previous two conferences have attracted coaches from right across the county as well as neighbouring Staffordshire and the Black Country. 

    This year’s conference will have two distinct strands, the traditional programme for Mini and Junior rugby coaches and a new programme dedicated to Mini and Junior volunteers who are not coaches. 

    The programme for volunteers will deliver RFU-accredited sessions on First Aid and Safeguarding for which a formal certificate will be issued. It will also provide sessions on the new RFU guidelines on concussion, cover funding and facilities opportunities available to all clubs, and will challenge clubs on whether or not they are ready for the Rugby World Cup in 2015.

    Rugby coaches will have the choice of sessions from Scott Sturdy (RFU Rugby Development Officer for Shropshire and the Black Country), Alex Murphy (Director of Rugby at Ellesmere College), Ian Williams (Ellesmere College), Adam Blackford (RFU Community Rugby Coach for the Black Country) and Patrick Hill (RFU Community Rugby Coach for Worcestershire).

    Rae Evans, Secretary of SRDG, comments: “We are really excited about the line-up we have assembled for this year’s conference and the addition of the stream for volunteers adds a whole new dimension to the day.  We’ve done this in direct response to demand and we’re expecting to see a big increase in turnout. This is a really great opportunity for everyone involved in youth rugby in our region to hear from some of the most respected and experienced coaches in the game. The profile of the game will be raised to new heights with the World Cup comes to England next autumn and we want to make sure that the standard of coaching and development in Shropshire and the North Midlands is of the highest standard.”

    Places at the S12 Coaching Conference are limited, so coaches and volunteers wishing to attend should contact Rae Evans as soon as possible to reserve a place. The cost per delegate is £25.00, which includes lunch, a polo shirt and goody bag. For more information, contact Rae Evans on 07809 171726 or email 


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