"From a coach development point of view it's

Sean Holley says that the recent job-swap that saw him elevated to the role of Director of Coaching, with a trio of coaches stepping up to take the squad for the LV= Cup fixtures against Newport Gwent Dragons and Leeds Carnegie, will stand the region in good stead for the future.

Part of the Ospreys forward thinking coach development programme which is aimed at creating a long lasting legacy that will help to create a sustainable region on and off the pitch, the job swap saw Jonathan Humphreys handed the post of Head Coach for two weeks, with young coaches Gruff Rees and Filo Tiatia also taking on greater responsibilities as the group prepared for the two fixtures.

Holley spent the fortnight overseeing activities as 'Humph' took a more hands on role, and before taking hold of the reins once again this week as the group prepare for Sunday's Magners League clash against Connacht at the Liberty Stadium, he has had the chance to review activities over the last month and he says that it was an extremely worthwhile exercise that he hopes will be repeated again in the future.

"From a coach development point of view it's been excellent", he commented.

"I've always been very big on coach education and continuous professional development, and for me, to have the opportunity to sit back a bit from my normal role and to  learn a little bit about the coaching team that you work day-in, day-out with was excellent.   It was an enjoyable process all round, and a really important one as far as the development of the three coaches, and myself for that matter, were concerned, I think we were all able to take something beneficial away from the experience..

"The whole idea in and around the LV= Cup this year was to make it a development competition, being played during the same time as the international windows. To be honest, that was good news for us, with the timing of the tournament, when we'll always have a considerable number of boys away with the various international teams, leaving a lot of young players and a seriously depleted squad.

"We've taken it as a good opportunity for certain players to get some game time, be they young players coming into the squad or maybe older players coming back from injury. We also saw that this was the ideal opportunity for our young coaches to maybe kick on their own development and gain some valuable experience of game week and game day.

"Reflecting on it, it was pretty successful.  I think it augurs well for the future of the Ospreys."

With all the coaches having received specific feedback aimed at helping them to become better coaches, Holley added that it is important that the trio, and other up and coming coaches at the region, enjoy similar opportunities again in the future. He said:

"I could not have become a Head Coach had I not gained various experiences over the years as  an assistant, as a backs Coach, as a sevens coach. All those experiences have culminated in me having the ability to step-up and it's no difference with these three coaches. They'll be better for this experience, and already they want the opportunity again to go through game week management. I'm sure that off the back of this, we can take a similar approach to the LV= Cup next year, I think the players involved have benefited and the coaches have definitely benefited.

"The fact that there is now a specific tournament that will only take part during times of the season when we are without specific players allows us to focus on areas of coach development that we maybe wouldn't have been able to previously. The LV= Cup in this format has changed the focus of the Anglo-Welsh competition, and allowed us to reprioritise, and as a group, players and coaches, by approaching it in this manner, it stands to benefit us considerable in the longer term.

"Jonathan and I  had some valuable experience at the sharp end last season. These guys can now say they stepped up and I think, having had the experience now, if we do have these windows of opportunity we should take them. Otherwise, they won't get the exposure they need to grow. I honestly think that it can only benefit the Ospreys. It benefits the players who are around here at this time, it benefits the coaches, and I think it's a step in the right direction

"I think we'll see them enjoying more responsibility as time goes by."