ARU sets up National Coaching Panel

Fri, 26 May 2017 07:51
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NEWS: Australian Rugby Union (ARU) has announced plans to establish a National Coaching Panel to oversee coach development and education across the country.

The concept of a National Coaching Panel was agreed following a meeting of current and former national coaches and past Wallabies players in Sydney yesterday, as part of a wide-ranging discussion on coach development.

The meeting followed several months of planning in the coach development area and was attended by Wallabies head coach Michael Cheika, World Cup-winning Wallabies coach Bob Dwyer, former National Coaching Director and Wallabies centre Dick Marks, former Wallabies back and analyst Rod Kafer, current National skills coach Mick Byrne and ARU General Manager High Performance, Ben Whitaker.

Following the meeting, agreement was reached on the key roles of the National Coaching Panel, which will include:

Overseeing and supporting the design of the national coaching development strategy and program - effectively devising an education system for coaches at all levels of the game.
Developing the national fundamentals of what and how to coach; and
Supporting the ongoing development of coaches at the professional and emerging levels - including Super Rugby and Wallabies.
A draft copy of the plans will be drawn up in collaboration with Australia's State Unions and Super Rugby teams in the coming weeks.

"There was strong alignment among the experts in the room yesterday about where the opportunities exist to improve the game at all levels through quality coaching.

"Importantly, it wasn't a meeting looking at failures within the current coaching development system - it was about identifying opportunities to enhance the system and work towards providing all coaches in Australian Rugby, from Under-6s through to Super Rugby, with support and knowledge and a genuine sense of belonging to the national cause. 

"Our coaches, especially volunteer coaches, are the cornerstone of our game and we must provide them a national connection. The existing national coaching development program has benefited enormously from the work of many and is highly regarded by the Australian Sports Commission.

"We will now draft the framework for the National Coaching Panel and work with the State Unions and Super Rugby teams to ensure appropriate and effective collaboration in it’s design and function.

"Following the initial work including setting the terms of reference, we will look to appoint the panel. Fortunately, there is a plethora of experienced and exceptional rugby minds in Australia that we have and will continue to draw from to ensure we are delivering the best possible program.

"Having the likes of Bob [Dwyer] and Dick [Marks] working alongside us throughout this process is invaluable," ARU General Manager, High Performance, Ben Whitaker said.