Rugby Coaching Blog | Professional Rugby Advice & Coaching

J’Accuse YOU by David Clarke

Let me start with some good news in rugby coaching.


With all the appointments for the new season flying around, internationally and domestically, perhaps one great appointment has gone under the radar.


One of Better Rugby Coaching’s editorial advisory board, John Schropfer, has been made the new national coach development manager for the Welsh Rugby Union. The role means searching out and nurturing the best coaching talent in Wales, so the next Welsh coach is indeed Welsh. 


John is one of the prime movers in the UK coaching development circles and a key part of the coaching courses produced for Welsh, English and Scottish coaches. His energy and vision will invigorate the development process in the Principality.


Coaching development has been ignored for too long


Coach development has long been overlooked by the most important people in rugby.


The scary thing is that these “most important people” in coach development are not those people who are working for the coaching departments of the national unions. They are, of course, you.


It is not that you don’t want to develop. And remember I am part of “you” as well. It is that you don’t always know what to do to develop.


In four weeks time I am delivering on an Osprey Coaching Development day to the region’s coaches. I am going to help coaches realise this as a problem and then how to adjust their coaching appropriately.


This is going to be a challenge I expect. As Winston Churchill once said: “I am always ready to learn although I do not always like being taught”.


A lot of coaches are working very hard already. Some are certainly developing quickly as coaches. But wouldn’t it better to channel the energy into better development.


These days world class teams don’t happen without world class coaches. You may not be looking after a world class team yourself, but it makes sense to keep developing and developing in the quickest and most effective way.


6 Comments so far
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Its about time the WRU sorted out their community coach development programme. For too long we have been left top our own devices, lack of CPD and insufficient numbers of regional development officers has not helped. Lets see the if WRU put their money where their mouth is. I wait with baited breath.

Comment by Old Git

I joined the English RFU coach education system in 1989 when I attended a Preliminary – Level 1 – Award in Hertfordshire. The following year I did my Intermediate Award – Level 2 – and in 1994 gained the Coaching Award – Level 3. During that time I met a great number of experienced coaches who were prepared to give you a bit of time and expound on their theories and thoughts. These men and women had a wealth of knowledge second to none and were prepared to share it. With the advent of professionalism within Rugby Union that sharing of knowledge has disappeared. The old sages have gone out of the game to be replaced by younger ‘professional’ people with less experience and even less inclination to share their knowledge and experiences with those of us who operate at the grassroots level of the game. I feel that coach education in England is nowhere near as good as it was ten years ago, unless you are involved in the professional game. Having said all of the above I have just stepped down as Head Coach at a Level 6 Club in North London and have initiated a Young Player and Coach Development Programme. It is time some of my experience and knowledge were passed on to others to use as they see fit.

Comment by Ged White


I can assure you that the situation in England is far better that t=it is in Wales.

Old Git

Comment by Old Git

I meant “it”

Comment by Old Git

I’m a South African coach, over heer development of coaches are no priority at all.
There are young men that want to learn from the best but the best are not availeble.They are either coaching over seas or dont want to get involfed because of the lack of commitment from the different rugby unions(clubs) and the governing body.
Dan I would like to speak to you about the development of coaches and my idea

Comment by Jaco

I think developing coaches and coaching structures is fairly far down the list. After Schoolboy Rugby the standard falls significantly, contributing hugely to the fall of in players at u20 level and upwards.

Comment by eskimorugby

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