SOME of the state’s top rugby union coaches were in Singleton on Sunday, sharing knowledge and taking the Hunter Under 16s rep side through their paces.
Wallabies forwards coach Andrew Blades was among the coaching staff.
He said the session was an opportunity to go through some of the changes to the rules of the game but more importantly for coaches to spread their ideas.
It wasn’t Blades’ first trip to Singleton.
“I played a game here years ago, it’s a great facility for this type of training session,” Blades said.
He also appreciated the opportunity of seeing some of the up and coming players in action.
“Country NSW is a breeding ground for our future state and national teams, this is where their rugby careers begin,” he said.
Country Rugby Juniors secretary Mick Sutherland said Sunday’s program included coaches independently taking players through their paces and talking tactics, game management and game preparation.
“It is about making coaches and players think on their feet, to be flexible and adapt to changes that happen during a game,” Mr Sutherland said.
Coaches of Singleton sides were given the opportunity to watch the five-hour program and take ideas and drills to use at their own coaching sessions.
Singleton already benefits from a quality coaching program demonstrated by Andrew Avard’s appointment as coach of the Under 14s country side and Marcus Vaughan as manager of the under 15s country side.
It is a huge commitment, according to Mr Sutherland. Country coaches and managers are selectors for other age groups and are also required to conduct coaching sessions and attend every competition from carnivals to the Country Championships themselves.
There is also the annual coaching clinic at Myuna Bay attended by all the junior rep sides.
Mr Sutherland said Country NSW was also in talks with Victoria and the ACT rugby delegates to establish a three-way challenge in July this year.
Sunday’s event was hailed a success and the venue has been booked for a similar session leading into next year’s rep season.