Recently I was fortunate enough to attend a 4-day conference held in Sydney for Level III rugby coaches. Amongst those in attendance was a mixture of Super 15 and Premiership coaches from all over Australia.
The presentations included the following:
∙ Owen Finegan (former Wallaby) on lineouts
∙ Marco Caputo (Brumbies Coach) on scrums
∙ Stephen James and Matt Burke (former Wallabies) on catch-pass skills and kicking skills
∙ Baden Stephenson (Sydney University) on innovative starter plays
∙ Peter Harding (ARU S&C Coach) on the latest trends in strength and conditioning
∙ Peter Jenkins (ARU Marketing and Media Manager) on how to deal with the media
∙ Andrew Sullivan (ARU) on video analysis
∙ Jamie McGregor (ARU) on game management from a referee’s perspective
I list them here so that those aspiring to be coaches can gain some insights into the many facets of being a head coach. And the list is only partially complete as we also attended another course last year which included; attack, defence, personality profiling, skill acquisition, periodisation planning, mental toughness and mentoring.
The highlight of the entire course was the visit of Australian National Head Coach, Robbie Deans. He shared with us his experiences from the Wallabies’ most recent tour of the UK and he gave us insights to his coaching philosophy. He gladly devoted an entire day to fielding any question we could put forward to him.
And here lies the secret to a good coach; he has no secrets. Warren Robilliard, the ARU National Coach Education Manager, told us that previously coaches would never divulge their knowledge and they kept things close to their chest. But what was apparent at this course was everyone’s readiness to share their intellectual property to anyone that was willing to ask, including the national coach.
Our Philippines Rugby community spans the entire globe and I would firstly like to take this opportunity to wish everyone, wherever you are, a very happy and successful 2011.
The outstanding achievements of all our national teams in 2010 certainly caught the attention of local and international press. You can read about them in Ruck and Maul with highlights including:
• Men’s A5N Div II Champions
• Men’s ARFU 7s Bowl Finalists (Shanghai & Borneo)
• Men’s U20 A5N Div II Champions
• Women’s International 15s debut with win
• Women’s 7s Div B Winners on debut (Guangzhou)
On the local front we have seen an expansion at both the junior and senior levels. Thanks to the generosity of our benefactors, sponsorships were also at an all time high. There has also been a concerted effort to increase the involvement of national Filipinos at the player, coach and Board level. We received glowing feedback from the International Rugby Board (IRB), the Asian Rugby Football Union (ARFU) and the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) regarding our rugby programs.
The growth of Philippines Rugby in the international arena has not gone unnoticed. In fact, at the IRB General Congress in Dublin, the PRFU were put forward as the model nation of how to develop rugby. The bulk of the praise here of course goes to our General Manager, Matthew Cullen. With his relentless efforts, the PRFU are a well respected rugby nation being a full member of the IRB. Along with his small team of employees and helpers, the PRFU will no doubt continue its rise on the local and international stage.
Wallabies National Head Coach, Robbie Deans, is fond of saying, “rugby is a simple game; all you need are a few volunteers”. I guess what he’s trying to say is that, for our game to flourish what we need are people dedicated to the task at hand. From a playing perspective, we need players who are willing to give it everything they’ve got and from a management perspective we need people who will promote our game at all levels of society.
In 2011, apart from winning every single game possible, I would like us all to focus on just one thing; LET’S TALK MORE RUGBY!! Whether you are a national player or a volunteer helping with a junior team, we can all play our part in promoting this great game of ours.
How can we do this you ask? Well here are a few tips:
• If you know the rules, volunteer to coach
• If you are organised, start a local club
• If you are a player, bring new friends to training
• If you can’t play, volunteer to referee
• If you are a coach, learn more about the game
• If you are a fan, watch more and talk more rugby
• If you have the financial means, sponsor a team
• If you live overseas, find Filipino players in your area
My dream would be to see a fully developed school, university and club competition within a few years. We all have the chance to build a sustainable rugby future for the generations to come. What a great legacy that would be. Please give it some serious consideration and volunteer some of your precious time and efforts to the PRFU. “Rugby is a simple game; all you need are a few volunteers”.
Expo is the current head coach of the Philippines national rugby union team having been appointed in November, 2009. In his first year he guided the Volcanoes to the Asian Five Nations 2010 Division II title thereby earning promotion to Division I for 2011.