Coaching role adds a little spice
FORMER Ashford Rugby Club coach Dave Wiggins has been invited to coach the Indian national rugby team this summer.
Dave, who lives at Wye, is a former top Army coach and was with the Ashford side last season.
He parted company with Ashford at the end of a difficult season that saw them just avoid relegation from London and SE Division 3.
But he was delighted to bounce straight back with an invitation to become India’s national coach.
Initially he had been invited to India for a three-week coaching spell to work with sides at Mumbai but this has been stretched to include working with the national team for their internationals with Guam and the Phillipines.
He travelled to India at the weekend and will be based at Mumbai until July 3.
During this time he will conduct an Elite Youth Camp as well as oversee the training and coaching of the national squad.
Indian rugby secretary Chaitanya Sinh said: “ The Indian RFU are eagerly awaiting his arrival and look forward to improving our standards under his experience and guidance.
“The Indian team is due to play the Asian RFU triangular tournament against Guam and Philippines and David will be responsible for all the coaching during this time.”
This week he has been working with the Indian Probables squad at their training came and between June 4-8 takes the Elite Youth Training Camp.
From June 9 he takes over the senior squads in preparation for their home game at Mumbai at the Bombay Gymkhana Club in June 23.
On the 27th he takes the team to Manila for their away clash with the Philippines.
Said David: “I was thrilled to get this chance. It will be my first trip to India and all my career I have firmly believed in taking the message about rugby to as many places as I can.”
He has also coached in Germany and Portugal.
The former army captain started his coaching career with the army leading his regiment, coach in the BAOR in Germany who had an undefeated season in 1983 and then coached the British Army side to the Inter Services championship in 1985.
After leaving the army he went on to coach Devon and at Bristol and Richmond as well as his spell as coach at Portugese Division 1 winners Technico.
He has always had the army close to his heart as a former RSM before getting his commission and went back to coaching his regiment to success in the Army Cup.
In Kent he became a publican but had a spell at Sevenoaks and Aylesford Bulls before coming to Ashford.
He said: “I was disappointed it didn’t work out at Ashford. I thought I could make a difference at the club but it just didn’t work.
“Too many people were not pulling together and while some were receptive to my ideas others were not and I was a great believer in putting 100 per cent into training.”
“It was a very frustrating time for me in many ways. I could see the deficits and where I wanted to go but it just wasn’t happening. But I wish them well next season.”
“One of the things I was pleased with was to get two of the club’s most promising youngsters to link up with the Northampton Saints Academy.”
Next season he will be coaching at Old Reigatians who play in the London and SW Division 3.
It was a disappointing season for Ashford who just avoided relegation in the closing games with a crucial late win to keep out of the bottom two.
Ashford are currently interviewing for a new head coach for the coming season.
The club are hope for an upturn in fortunes next season with an excellent youth set-up and a flourishing ladies team run by new coach Keith Woodward.
The club hold their youth awards night tomorrow with the ClubBall on Saturday.
Wye’s Dave Wiggins is off to coach the Indian national team