Dragons duo Aaron Jarvis and Brok Harris are part of a select band of players nearing completion of a brand new coach development initiative undertaken by the WRU.
Last September, in conjunction with the regions and the Welsh Rugby Players Association, a group of 10 players were hand-picked for the inaugural 12-month long Player to Coach programme.
Despite coronavirus causing mayhem world-wide, the players involved put their heads down and concentrated on the job at hand so the players of today can work towards becoming the coaches of tomorrow.
There will be no customary celebrations with mortar boards thrown into the air on graduation day given the current times we live in.
However, Jarvis and Harris will join Ospreys quintet Justin Tipuric, Paul James, Bradley Davies, James Hook and Rob McCusker, Scarlets duo Leigh Halfpenny and Angus O’Brien and Cardiff Blues’ Dan Fish in becoming the first graduates of the course, gaining a UKCC Level 3 award in Coaching Rugby Union in the process.
While continuing their playing careers, all candidates were expected to undertake workshops focused on specific aspects of coaching, while gaining insights into alternative methods utilised in other sports.
They were also provided with a mentoring service to assist with their progress.
And WRU Performance Coach Manager Dan Clements, who oversaw the programme, has been thrilled with the results.
“The new Welsh Rugby Union Player to Coach programme aims to support players who are looking to make the transition into coaching,” he explained.
“We work on this by supporting the candidates through a structured programme of learning which focuses on all aspects of the coaching process, particularly the skills and knowledge required to flourish as a coach.
“Having experienced a high-performance environment and having an implicit understanding of the requirements needed to thrive in the professional game, this experience and knowledge will give potential new coaches a fantastic grounding in what it looks and feels like and all the associated pressures.”
Despite coronavirus causing mayhem world-wide, the players involved have put their heads down and concentrated on the job at hand so the players of today can work towards becoming the coaches of tomorrow...