Coaches: Steve Hill, Kevin Brennan, Tony Robinson, Craig Brown
The Penguins took a well qualified and highly experienced coaching team to work with a variety of groups in and around Toronto, Canada. The group was lead by Steve Hill Director of Rugby at Oxford University, an RFU Level 5 coach and coach of England Students. He was ably supported by Tony Robinson, RFU Coach Development Officer, and Kevin Brennan, former London Irish scrum half ,currently Head of Rugby at Wellington College and working with players at the London Irish Academy. We were later joined by Craig Brown, Director of Rugby of the Penguins International XV.
He group was hosted by Toronto Nomads, one of the top club sides in the city. All four coaches worked with members of the Nomads club, including their senior squad, U18 squad and women's team. The theme of the evening was about individual skill development, seeking to improve understanding of which skills are required and when.
Former prop Tony Robinson worked on the scrum technique of each of the squads attending. All the squads worked hard until the session was slightly truncated by a violent thunderstorm!
One day was spent working with the Ontario U18 and U16 squads. These were the best players of their age from the whole province and the commitment to attend training was in some cases amazing . Three of the players had a round trip of 10 hours driving just to attend the session, for which they receive no expenses. During this session the coaches looked at the themes of continuity and decision making. The Canadian players were all very keen to make contact with the opposition so we worked on alternative methods of breaking down a defence. The young players were really keen to learn. Pleasingly there were about 20 other rugby coaches in attendance so we were able to share our ideas with them. A very useful question and answer session took place as the players were getting changed and it showed just how committed the local coaches are.
The hospitality we received at each location was tremendous. We would all especially like to thank Juan Montecinos and John Zimnoch for all there help and assistance and we very much hope we can return to what is a beautiful and very friendly city.