Jason Lewis, the current WRU/Ospreys Development Manager, has been appointed to the post of of National Rugby Development Manager.
The new role will focus on sustaining and growing the national sport of Wales. An experienced coach and development manager, Jason Lewis will take charge of the player pathway from the grassroots level upwards.
Jason Lewis will report directly to the WRU Head of Rugby Performance and Development, Joe Lydon, and will be responsible for developing and delivering player development pathways and skills frameworks in order to increase participation and raise standards.
His will be a wide-ranging brief but there will be a key focus on schools and club rugby and on linking the top end of community rugby with the performance end of the game. His role will also cover the continued development of women’s and girls rugby.
Lewis will take up his new post at the WRU National Centre of Excellence at the Vale Resort from August 2nd.
He will continue as Head Coach of Wales Women for the forthcoming Women’s Rugby World Cup later this summer which is being held in England.
“This is a great honour and I am looking forward to the challenge with the aim of making progress across the community game.
“I want to make a difference and the aim is for me to leave a legacy which will secure the long term future of our national sport.
“Having been with the Union now for 13 years as a development officer and then as a development manager, I feel I know the game pretty well and I have lots of ideas about where I feel the game in Wales needs to go.”
Lewis started his career with Cardiff as a development officer before becoming Regional Community Manager of the Cardiff Blues region where he delivered a comprehensive development programme before moving on to the Ospreys.
The WRU Head of Rugby Performance and Development, Joe Lydon, said:
“Jason is an accomplished professional who is vastly experienced within the administration of the game in Wales at a high level.
“He has already proved himself as a successful leader so we know he is just the man we want to take our pathway structure onto the next level of its development.
“The sustainability and development of the game at grassroots level is a key priority of the Welsh Rugby Union and we are determined to deliver success as this level.
“Important changes have been carried through in our internal structures over the past year or so and we are now in a strong position to take on the big challenges we know exist.
“The game is thriving at junior level in Wales and the clubs have played a vital role in making that happen with more youngsters from aged seven getting involved in the game.
“That is already feeding through the system as this year we have seen a marked growth in the number of youth teams being registered across Wales.
“Moving forward, we need to build on this participation and enhance the way we identify the most talented players within our schools and clubs and maximise their potential for the future of our game.
“I am totally confident we have the right structures and we are attracting the right calibre of individual to get the best out of the systems in place.
“Jason has an intimate understanding of what we are aiming to achieve and I know he will give us 100 per cent to deliver on his remit.”
Ospreys Elite Performance Director, Andrew Hore, commented:
“We are extremely sad to see Jason leave but we are delighted for Jason. He did an outstanding job for rugby development within the Ospreys region, restructuring the department and bringing together WRU and Ospreys development staff. Jason has a very strategic mind and is able to develop a plan and put it into place. I think this is a very positive appointment which will benefit all of Welsh rugby and Wales as a nation.”