Swansea University Head Coach, Richard Lancaster, has spent the last week shadowing his Ospreys counterpart, Steve Tandy as he prepares for the big Welsh Varsity clash at the Millennium in April
Lancaster, who also coaches the Ospreys U20 team and has recently been appointed Performance Manager at Swansea RFC, has enjoyed a unique insight into the top level of the game, shadowing Tandy in the build-up to Sunday’s big PRO12 clash against Munster at the Liberty Stadium.
Over the course of the week he has sat in on review and planning sessions with coaches and players, as well as taking to the training pitch to observe Tandy, Chris Gibbes and Gruff Rees in action close-up.
He will join the coaching trio on match day to see first hand how they deal with events in a pressure situation, before taking part in a full post-match debrief. Lancaster is the latest young coach to be handed an opportunity to observe operations at the Ospreys as the region continues its commitment to development from within.
Speaking about this experiences this week, Lancaster said:
“This is a great opportunity for me to experience life at the cutting edge of regional rugby which I’m extremely grateful for. Obviously Swansea University and the Ospreys have a longer-term strategic partnership, and the Uni is an important part of the development pathway. With a view to the forthcoming Varsity match, the Ospreys have always offered us invaluable support, with the likes of Alun Wyn Jones, Gruff Rees and Steve Tandy all assisting us with our preparation over the years.
“I’ve enjoyed this experience, seeing how the coaches operate with the group day-to-day and exchanging philosophies. I’ll be looking to take some of the things I’ve learned this week back to Swansea University, to help with our preparations for the big game in Cardiff.”
The existing relationship between the Ospreys and Swansea University sees the two organisations share commercial and research and expertise, while the Ospreys support the already successful rugby structure at the University by engaging sporting scholars with rugby experts.
Ospreys players currently studying at the University include Nicky Thomas, Sam Lewis, Tom Grabham, Ashley Evans, Matthew Jenkins and Rory Thornton.
Ospreys Chief Executive, Andrew Hore, welcomed this latest development as further evidence of the region’s commitment to developing local talent, be it coaching, playing or administrative.
“For an up and coming coach to come and gain invaluable experience of life at the elite end of the game is a unique opportunity. Richard is the latest to gain a real insight and understanding of the workload of the senior coaches and how they operate on a daily basis. This will allow Richard to take best practice away and put it into action in his various other roles within the region. We want to ensure the ongoing development of all coaches involved with the region and this is just one way in which we are facilitating this. Better coaches equals better players right the way through the pathway.”