Bridgend Ravens have announced details of their new coaching and management set-up ahead of the new season.
With previous Head Coach, Steve Tandy, successfully stepping up to take the reins at regional level with the Ospreys, Ben Rose has been handed the post of Head Coach at the Riverside Hardware Brewery Field on a permanent basis after stepping up as interim chief at the end of 2011/12 following Tandy’s move to the Liberty Stadium.
Joining Ben in a new look coaching team is former Welsh international hooker Paul Young as Assistant Coach, with Ravens fly-half Dan Griffiths confirmed as Backs Coach. Jason Larkman continues as Strength and Conditioning Coach, Gary Ahmed joining the club as Physio.
With a young and exciting coaching team in place, there is experience available to provide a guiding hand in the familiar faces of Gareth Nicholas and Wayne Hall, in the roles of Director of Rugby and Team Manager respectively.
David Rees of Bridgend Ravens commented:
“We are very excited about the appointment of this coaching and management team, which we believe can build on the excellent work carried out by Steve Tandy prior to his appointment at the Ospreys.
“In Ben, Paul and Dan we have three young and ambitious coaches with the commitment and desire to help drive the Ravens forward, with the experience of two Bridgend stalwarts in Gareth and Wayne providing guidance and assistance where needed.
“In particular, to see Ben and Dan, two young men who have served the club well on the field in recent seasons, stepping up to these new roles, is a clear signal that the development structures within the club and within the region are working well and we wish them the very best of luck as they embark on the coaching pathway.”
31-year old Rose will combine his Bridgend role with his full time position as WRU/Ospreys Regional Community Manager, heading up the region’s Community Development Team. He has been part of the team at the Ospreys for five years, previously in the role of Player Development Officer for the Swansea District before his appointment to his current post two years ago.
Born in Bangor, North Wales, Rose studied Sports Science at UWIC before completing a Masters in Sports Development, and has remained in South Wales ever since his student days. He combined a career in player development with an on-field career with Pontypridd, Glamorgan Wanderers and then Bridgend.
39-year old Young joins the Ravens on the back of seven years experience as a professional rugby coach and 10 years as a professional rugby player.
As a player he represented Cardiff and Newport in the pre-regional era and then Newport Gwent Dragons. As a coach, his wide experience has seen him operating as Head Coach at Highfield RFC in Cork and Galwegians RFC in Galway, and he is currently Forwards Coach with the Wales U16 set-up.
33-year old Griffiths has represented the Ravens for the last two seasons, helping the club return to the Premiership in the 2010/11 as he kicked more than 300 points in his first season at the Riverside Hardware Brewery Field.
He previously spent seven years at Newport RFC, where he has made 187 appearances, also representing the Dragons. His tally of 1,551 points is an all time club record, with Griffiths overtaking former Dragons Head Coach Paul Turner at the top of the points chart in February 2008. He has also played for Llanelli, Whitland and Bayonne in France.
Currently employed as a Sports Development Officer at Bridgend Council, for the last two years he has also served the Ospreys working with the region’s ‘C’ group of players, looking after a selection of carefully selected young players aged 16 to 18 who during term time train at Llandarcy between 7 and 9am ahead of their normal college day.