Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Swansea RFC announce new-look coaching team

Swansea RFC have announced a new-look coaching team for next season, Richard Lancaster will assume control as Director of Rugby and will be assisted by a coaching team of Rhodri Jones, Chris Loader and Ben Lewis.

Level 4 coach Lancaster has worked previously alongside Steve Tandy as Bridgend Ravens assistant coach. He has also been Head Coach at Swansea University over the past 8 years through a period of 

extraordinary success, as well as leading the Ospreys Under 20s coaching team. Having already been involved at the club this season as Performance Manager, Richard now steps over the white line to direct coaching at Swansea RFC.

“Although the club is at its lowest ebb at the moment it is also an exciting time for all involved. We have a lot of hard work to do and nobody is underestimating the challenge that the Championship presents, that said it is our absolute aim to bring success back to this world famous club.” said Lancaster.

“Personally for me this is an incredible opportunity to coach the team that I grew up following every week. Swansea genuinely hold a very special place in my heart having supported the club since I can remember and playing for the club as a youngster. What has been so pleasing for me is that I’m certainly not alone in this as so many people are approaching the club, offering to help.”

Former Swansea RFC players Chris Loader and Rhodri Jones will assist Lancaster on the coaching team.
Chris joins Swansea after a highly successful stint coaching Ystalyfera, having led them to three trophies over a fantastic and unbeaten 2013/14 season. Chris started his playing career with the Whites before spells at Pontypridd, the Celtic Warriors and Bath. Loader's coaching career began at Trebanos before moving to Ebbw Vale and more recently Ystalyfera.

“I’m really looking forward to getting started with the season and working with the excellent crop of players and some very talented and exciting coaches. Ystalyfera have been fantastic over the last three years and I just want to thank them for their help and support especially this year winning but it was hard to resist accepting a challenge like this with the club that kicked off my rugby career” commented Chris on his return to Swansea RFC.

Rhodri Jones started his playing career at Neath before moving to Swansea to play with his brother Rob. Rhodri also represented the Dragons and the Scarlets before his retirement. As a coach Rhodri has worked his way through the system at Trebanos RFC, firstly with the youth, and then for 7 years with the senior team bringing them from Division 5 right up to play in Division 1 next season.

On his appointment to the Swansea RFC coaching staff, Rhodri remarked:

“I’m really excited to have the opportunity to go and coach a club so close to mine and my family’s heart. I’ve learnt so much from my time at Trebanos and I will miss the players and the staff there, but I am also privileged to be given the opportunity to coach at a world renowned club in the form of Swansea.”

The trio are joined by former Whites and Ospreys player, Ben Lewis. Ben having already worked in the position of skills coach at the club before taking leave to travel the world with his fiancée. The exciting return of Ben has been very well received by the players who look forward to working with him again.

The rugby management team at the club is completed by Team Manager Paul Whapham and Strength and Conditioning Coach, James Prosser.

Keith Colclough, who is also announced in a new position as Managing Director continuing his long affinity with the Whites, commented on the new set up:

“We have brought together a really young and exciting team who have a mass of experience between them. They all regard the club in a very special way and it was crucial for us when recruiting that we first and foremost had Swansea men. It is vital that we don’t let our own standards slip and we continue to move forward as a club despite the level we are playing at and I believe this coaching team will do just that. We would especially like to thank Trebanos and Ystalyfera for their understanding in losing two very prominent coaches.

“A lot of hard work has gone into the club over the past year and we have reignited the passion and enthusiasm of a lot of people who hold Swansea RFC close to their hearts. Change is always difficult and I feel we are turning the corner but at the same time have an incredible challenge ahead of us in the Welsh Championship."


Post a Comment