Former Swansea and Aberavon hooker Jason Hyatt will take his next step on the coach development ladder next season after accepting the Head Coach position at the All Whites.
41-year old Hyatt will move to St Helen’s after five years at Tonmawr RFC, where he led the Pitmen into the Welsh Premiership last year as WRU Division One West champions, before they secured a respectable eighth place in this season’s Premiership table with 12 wins and two draws in 26 games.
Hyatt came through the ranks at Waunarlwydd RFC, playing for the club through to youth level, before moving to Swansea where he gained his first senior rugby experience. A Wales Youth and U21 cap, he also played for Llanelli, before finishing his playing career with five years at Aberavon. After hanging up his boots he returned to his local club Waunarlwydd to begin coaching, after which he linked up with the ambitious Pelenna Valley club where he has developed a reputation as a quality up and coming coach.
Speaking about his new role with Swansea, Hyatt said:
“This is a fantastic opportunity, and I’m really looking forward to being a part of the Ospreys environment. It’s the next progression for me and will allow me to develop further as a coach.
“To be at Swansea as Head Coach, my home town club that I have real affiliation with as it’s where I played my first senior rugby, is a dream come true, something I’m really excited about.
“I’ve had five great years at Tonmawr and I’m thankful for the support that I’ve had from everybody at the club. The backing of the assistant coaches and the players certainly allowed me to develop as a coach while I was there, which in turn allowed the players to develop as well. We achieved something to be proud of, and the success we enjoyed in that environment has allowed me to make the next step, and I’m grateful of that.
“Swansea is a club with a proud tradition of playing positive attacking rugby and I’m looking forward to maintaining that tradition in my role as Head Coach.”
Richard Moriarty, Director of Rugby at Swansea RFC, welcomed Hyatt back to the club, saying:
“As a club we are mindful of the number of players we have that harbour ambitions of playing for the Ospreys, and because of that, it’s important that we see what we consider to be the best coaches in this area at the club working with these players to help them achieve that aim.
“Jason certainly fits that bill. It’s been nice to see him progress, the fact that he is already a Level Four qualified coach shows his ambition, and the good work he has done at Tonmawr is clear for everyone to see.
“It’s great to be able to welcome a former All-White back to the club, and we are all looking forward to next season with Jason at the helm.”
Andrew Hore, Chief Operations Officer at the Ospreys, added:
“This is a really important appointment for both Swansea RFC and the Ospreys, in terms of our commitment to developing local talent on and off the pitch, and also, with a view to the proposed changes to the way that the Welsh Premiership operates.
“Development from within is at the heart of everything we are doing at the Ospreys, and is essential if we are to achieve long term, sustainable success. That doesn’t just mean developing playing talent, we also have to ensure that we are producing quality young coaches who will inspire and provide the building blocks for future players. There is no doubt that Jason has built an excellent reputation on that front, and will prove to be a real asset to both Swansea and the Ospreys as he takes his first steps on the Ospreys Coach Development Pathway.
“We wish him the best of luck in his new role, and look forward to working closely with him throughout the 2011/12 season and beyond.
“It’s also important that we thank Tonmawr for their assistance in making this happen, as potentially we could have lost Jason from the region entirely if they hadn't the foresight to allow this. We look forward to work further with them to ensure they remain an important part of the development pathway in Ospreylia for coaches, players and administrators.”
Hyatt says that he is looking forward to working with some of the highly rated young talent at St Helen’s:
“Swansea have some quality players, and clearly, the presence of a number of Ospreys contracted development players is also a bonus to the club” he commented.
“It will be great to work with these players and to help them further their careers, while it’s also important to remember that there will be other players at the club, slightly older, who may have slipped through the system that still have hopes of playing regional rugby and making an impact at the Ospreys. It’s not a foolproof system; there will be players who get missed at a younger age, which is why it’s important that everybody works together.
“I want to develop players who will shine in regional rugby. That’s how I see it, and the Directors of Swansea see things the same way. I’ve worked with Andrew Hore for two seasons at Tonmawr and I think we have a good working relationship, where we both have a similar outlook on things. He’s a good guy to work with and I’m looking forward to developing that further in my role at Swansea next season.”