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April-June, 2010 - invited to work at the WRU's Centre of Excellence located at the Vale, Cardiff, Wales.

Scroll down the page if you would like to view various details and images of my time with the WRU:

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From the end of April to early June 2010 (approx' 6 weeks) I was invited by Head of Rugby Performance and Elite Player Development, Joe Lydon to work at the WRU's Centre of Excellence (CE) loacted at the Vale, Cardiff. Joe and I have a relationship that extends back to my very firts trip to England to work with Wigan Warriors in 1996. Since then I have also worked with him when he was England U19 Manager and England Sevens Head Coach.

Without a doubt the WRU CE training facility at the Vale is the best I have worked at in either rugby league or union. The complex comprises a large indoor training centre with offices housing the National team coaching and support staff, the Elite Player Development Department and a large indoor weight training facilty. On site there are numerous grassed and synthetic pitches all of very high quality.

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During my time at the CE I was lucky enough to work with some of the best people in the field of rugby training and elite player development. These included ex-Welsh international representative player and National Academy Strength and Conditioning Coach, Wayne Proctor, Physical Performance Manager for the Welsh natioanl team, Craig White and Head of Strengh and Conditioning, Adam Beard.

I also hooked up again with ex Leeds Tykes Head Coach and Welsh international legend, Phil Davies. Phil is a top bloke and had been the Head of the National Academy programme and Wales U20 coach. However, just after I left Wales to return home Phil resigned this position to take up the role of forwards coach for Worcester Warriors. I'm confident one day Phil will coach the Welsh senior team.

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My primary role at the WRU's CE was to work with the Welsh Sevens squad in preparation for the last 2 legs of the IRB World Series to be played in London and Edinburgh. Sevens rugby is seen as a critical element of the WRU's elite player development pathway and has a strong history of developing players for the Welsh senior 15-a-side squad.

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The Head Coach for the Welsh Sevens team is Paul John, who had a real passion for his job and had a great bunch of players to work with. The annoucement by the WRU that it would appoint "Johnsy" as a full-time coach and contract up to 10 full-time players to form the core of the Welsh Sevens team was a major step forward in the WRU's player development pathway and a huge vote of confidence in Paul and his professioanlism. I had an amazing experience with this group, the highlight of which was the London Sevens tournamnet at Twickenham.

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