10 Dec, 12:23
Ireland's John Lacey will referee his first ever RBS 6 Nations match in February, while Alain Rolland is also included in the Elite Panel in what is his last season.
Coming to the Johnstown House Hotel in Enfield from schools, clubs and representative teams from every part of the country, 35 coaches attended the Head Coaches course over two weekends, with a further 29 attending the Assistant Coaches course over one weekend.
These Stage 4 courses are for coaches working with advanced 15-a-side teams, with higher technical competencies and understanding of the game.
The course develops the 'principles of play' through functional role analysis of the Identities of rugby and coaches partake in both practical and classroom-based activities, with a variety of high profile tutors facilitating the learning process.
At the end of the course, the coach is expected to develop individual players' abilities to undertake and adjust their specific roles in a changing environment within each of the identities of rugby.
Sport specific and generic modules are examined at a more advanced level, together with the introduction of modules which develop the coaches' ability to understand interpersonal relationships and team dynamics in conjunction with increasing the players' tactical appreciation.
Despite the hard work, there was the usual large enjoyment factor, with many of the coaches renewing old friendships (and rivalries!) and everyone was willing to share their experiences in the world of rugby and contribute to the overall value of the events.
Each of the coaches now embarks on a programme of accreditation with various requirements that may be completed over the coming season and we wish them the very best of luck in the future.