Ospreys make the grade at Level 3

Eleven coaches in Ospreylia recently completed their UKCC Level 3 Coaching Course, among them a number of individuals from within the region's rugby operations.

Ian Gough and Tom Smith, both of whom have been operating within the Ospreys age-grade set-up this season successfully undertook the six month course delivered by the Ospreys Coach Development Department, along with Damian Karauna (Elite Youth Performance Manager), Andy Williams (Player Development Officer, Swansea) and Tom Cole (Player Development Officer, Bridgend).

All the candidates were closely scrutinised with intensive theoretical work and applied coaching practice based on the development and management of a Youth/Senior rugby team.

Dan Owens, Ospreys/WRU Coach Development Officer, commented:

“This year, we had an exceptionally high calibre of candidates, so we really wanted to test them in the way the course assisted and challenged their development as a coach. We focussed heavily on the process of creating a seasonal development plan and the intricacies of managing a team over the course of that season.

“Having Ospreys professional players and staff on the course, contributed massively with their insight into the professional game and the tools they have available at the top. Similarly, the shared experiences and the nature of the uncontrollable circumstances of those coaches working in the community and participation end of the game were invaluable to grow the understanding of the professionals. Both groups complimented each other resulting in an exceptionally high quality course.

“The recent success story of Steve Tandy, rising to the Head Coach role of the regional game, is testament to the fact that the work of the coach development team plays an integral role in the Ospreys ‘development from within’ philosophy. Steve is a man who has risen through the ranks as a coach from club - player development - talent development – high performance – regional coaching. Coupled with his admirable work ethic, his journey is a prime example that a career pathway does exist for coaches within the Ospreys region provided they possess the right core values and motivation to drive them to achieve their potential. This year’s cohort will now soar on their own journeys, and I wish them every success.”

Ospreys stalwart Ian Gough said the course experience would stand him in good stead as he begins to think about a long-term coaching career:

“It was a difficult course that took a lot of time and effort to get through, but the experience will definitely prove beneficial to my future as a coach. I realise that I’m coming towards the end of my playing days so I’ve started to think about the future and laying some foundations as a coach.

“I’m working within the age-grade system at the Ospreys with the U18’s this season after coaching the U16’s last season and with my Level 3 secured, hopefully I can expand on this experience in the coming seasons and help some of these youngsters become senior Ospreys.”

Damian Karauna added:

“The philosophy at the Ospreys is very much ‘coach is king’, with a belief that better coaches equals better players. It’s essential that we ensure that coaches operating across the region are always looking for, and provided with, opportunities to develop their skills, if we want to make sure that we are producing the best possible players for the future of the Ospreys.

“I’m fortunate enough to be at a region with this outlook, that understands the importance of not only a player development pathway, but also, a coaching pathway. With the help of Dan Owens and his team, not to mention the senior coaches at the Ospreys who have always been willing to provide guidance, I’m one step further along the pathway.”

With an 85% pass rate this year, other successful candidates from the 2011/12 course were:

Richard Smart – Ospreys Player Development Coach / Coach Educator / RTB Ebbw Vale Youth

Demetrius Brook – Ospreys Player Development Coach / Coach Educator

Colin Beaton – Ospreys Player Development Coach / Coach Educator / Nantymoel RFC

Alan Flowers – Head Coach, Pontrhydyfen RFC

Gareth Richards – Ospreys Coach Educator / Waunarlwydd RFC

Ian Jones – Ospreys Coach Educator / Brynaman RFC


On the back of such a successful course, the Ospreys Coach Development team have confirmed their Coach Education calendar up to the summer 2013 (details can be found at www.wrucoaching.co.uk) inclusive of the 2012/13 Level 3 course.

Hosted at Llandarcy Academy of Sport, this year’s course dates are as follows:

Sunday 8th July 2012

Sunday 12th August 2012

Sunday 2nd September 2012

Sunday 4th November 2012

Sunday 9th December 2012

A UKCC Coaching in Rugby Union Level 3 course will accommodate a maximum of 16 candidates. The Ospreys region operates one course per year.

Due to the demand on the course across Wales, Ospreys Coach Development stand by the regional philosophy to develop from within, and to produce the best Level 3 coaches available to the Ospreys region at the time of application.


Priority access will be given to candidates based on the following criterion if applications exceed 16:


Enhanced Priority:

  • Ospreys Development/Elite Staff
  • Ospreys Age Grade Coaches (Ospreys U16 – U20)
  • Ospreylia based Premiership coach
  • Ospreys Development Workforce, including:

o Junior Player Development Coaches

o Coach Educators


Preferred Priority:

  • Ospreylia resident
  • Ospreylia based Senior/Youth level coach
  • Regular attendance at Ospreys CPD events


Minimum Priority:

  • UKCC Coaching in Rugby Union Level 2
  • Coaching a rugby team on a regular basis
  • Out of region applicants


Applicants must have regular access to Youth/Senior Team players in order to be considered for the course.


As access to the course can only be authorised by the Ospreys Coach Development team, suitably qualified and experienced Level 2 coaches are urged to apply for the course by sending their “Rugby CV” detailing their playing and coaching experience and their reasons for wishing to attend the course to Dan Owens, Ospreys Coach Development Officer at dowens@wru.co.uk no later than Friday 16th March 2012, 5pm.


Suitable applicants will be contacted for a coaching observation to confirm their suitability to attend the course, prior to them making any payments. As such, the application process has now opened and the Ospreys Coach Development team await any and all enquiries.