Ospreys players take on coaching roles

Ben John, Richard Fussell, Matthew Dwyer and Jonathan Spratt will take their next step on the coach development pathway when they join the Eyasses coaching teams for 2015/16.

Following in the footsteps of former players such as Steve Tandy and Andy Lloyd, now part of the management at the region, the quartet will be joining the coaching set ups of the regional age grade Under 16s and 18s.

Ben John, who has previously assisted with the Under 16 coaching set up, will reprise his role with the Under 16 West side as Assistant Backs Coach. The 24-year old centre is a level two qualified coach and has also previously coached his own junior side, Loughor RFC, and Swansea University’s Varsity team.

The Ospreys East U16s, will also be getting some help from the senior team in the shape of fullback Richard Fussell. The experienced 31-year old , who holds the record for the quickest century of Ospreys appearances, has played 110 times for the region, scoring 18 tries. Currently working towards his level three coaching qualification, Fussell already has coaching experience with the region after working with the Ospreys C group last season.

The Ospreys Under 18 side, fresh from winning the Regional Age Grade competition last season, have two senior players joining their coaching team with Jonathan Spratt taking on the Backs Coach position and Matthew Dwyer becoming the Forwards Coach.

29-year old Spratt has been involved in coaching his former team Neath Athletic for several seasons and will now impart his experience on the young players who are pursuing the goal of a professional rugby career themselves.

Dwyer will take charge of the Under 18 forwards. The 30 -year old level two qualified coach, who has captained the British Army team and won the first ever Forces World Cup in 2011, has previous coaching experience with Afan Nedd School Boys.

Andrew Millward, Rugby General Manager at the Ospreys, commented on the players’ new roles:

"It's a very important part of the Ospreys Rugby ethos that the players work hard off the pitch as well as on it, continuing to learn, gaining qualifications that will help them after their playing career. In the case of these four individuals, they are adding some practical skills to their coaching qualifications that will help them both as coaches and players.

"With these four players taking on roles within the regional pathway it gives them a great chance to gain valuable experience in a coaching environment, developing their own coaching skills while giving something back to the region. It's incredibly beneficial for young players coming through the system to be taught by senior Ospreys as they will learn to play the "Ospreys Way" from a young age and it will help them transition through the age grades and possibly even into the senior squad one day.

“As we did with Steve Tandy, and as has been the case with a long list of coaches, we have started them off on the pathway, working with our youngsters and allowing them to learn the skills needed to go on and become a quality, high level coach. Central to our development from within ethos is an understanding that better coaches equals better players, and we are committed to ensuring that not only is our pathway developing the best young players, but that the conveyor belt also continues to produce quality young coaches, helping ensure long term sustainable success for the region.”