The Young Osprey Age Grade teams at under 20, 18 and 16 are well into their summer training programme which started on Friday 30th May.
The weekend of May 30th-June 1st involved over 40 players with the under 20 age group, with a few more ready to throw their hats into the ring once the A level exams have been completed. During the weekend Head Coach Garin Jenkins was assisted by conditioners Keith Holifield and Ian Rowlands. Under Jenkins' guidance they went through some key rugby skills while Holifield (assisted by Rowlands) demonstrated some of the key conditioning techniques that the players require at this early stage of the season. Next up for the 20's will be another weekend June 27th-29th at the Llandarcy Academy of Sport; players will gather at 4.45pm on the Friday. During the weekend the players will be introduced to a new assistant coach for this season Craig Bonnell. Craig has extensive experience throughout the game with Vardre RFC, Carmarthen Quins and is a local schoolteacher who also coaches the Welsh Schools under 16 squad. The under 16 and 18 squads have been training on 3 nights a week since they staretd on Monday 2nd June. Ian Rowlands is thriving in his new role as conditioning coach with the under 16's, while Jason Larkman continues to offer the same enthusiasm and quality content with the under 18 squad, that epitomised his programme last season. So far all sessions have taken place at the Llandarcy Academy of Sport, however, Head Coaches David Jones (under 16's) and Phil John (under 18's) will be taking their squads to Court Herbert on Tuesday 17th and 24th June, so that they can get much needed practice on grass. At under 16 level Jones is assisted by forwards coach Paul Yardley and Academy Manager Gethin Watts; who will take responsibility for the backs. This season John will be assisted by Alex Evans who moves up from the under 16 group after three successive campaigns in the Reebok Championship. Further apointments to the coaching team will take place over the next few weeks as the senior squad return to training and for some the opportunity to develop the next generation of Ospreys. The groups are also receiving a variety of specific skills training under the watchful eye of Young Ospreys Skills Coach Dan Cottrell. Also with the new cohort of players at under 16 level, Garin Jenkins will develop scrummaging skills; Aberavons Mark Breeze will develop hookers with throw-in and WRU Skills Coach (and Neath RFC assistant coach) Gruff Rees will develop the scrum halves.