Rugby festivals give young talent a chance

Ospreys Player Development Coaches will be hosting a series of rugby festivals throughout March aimed at identifying a group of young players with the potential to represent the three District sides in the region next season.

The day long festivals, which will see clubs from the region playing against each other under the watchful eye of Ospreys and District Coaches, are divided into age groups as follows:

Sunday 14th March
Swansea District Clubs (U12's) - Fall Bay RFC

Sunday 21st March
Swansea District Clubs (U13's and U15's) - Dunvant RFC
Bridgend District Clubs (U12's and U13's) - Porthcawl RFC

Sunday 28th March
Afan Nedd, Bridgend and Swansea District Clubs (U11's) - Bridgend Sports RFC

The format of the festivals will see teams playing each other in a round robin event, with all teams encouraged to use as many players as possible throughout the event. Results are not being collected at the end of games, and there are no trophies up for grabs, as the concept of the festival is solely to allow players the chance to catch the eye of the Player Development Coaches.

Throughout the course of the festivals, coaches will identify a group of children that are good enough to go through a series of summer training sessions, incorporating fitness, skills and games, after which the District Squads for the 2010/11 season will be selected.

According to Jason Lewis, WRU Ospreys Community Development Manager, the festivals are an important part of the selection process:

"Over the course of the month of March, Ospreys Player Development Coaches will get to have a good look at players involved with more than 70 clubs in total, in an environment where the result isn't important - it will be all about performance.

"We have excellent working relationships with the District set-ups across the region, and believe that they have a vital part to play in the player development pathway. We've spent a lot of time discussing how we can best work together for the benefit of everybody, Districts, the Ospreys and players alike, and we feel that by organising and hosting these special festivals, we are allowing the best opportunity for youngsters to show what potential they have, and also, they expose more players to the selection process, which can only be a positive.

"Looking forward, at the Ospreys we are committed to the identification and development of the best local young talent, and our ongoing relationship with the Districts is a crucial part of that."