Coach­ing role adds a lit­tle spice

Rugby

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - SPORT -

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.

In­ter­na­tion­als

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.”

Frus­trat­ing

“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.

Ref:pd763150 Buy this pic­ture from ken­ton­line.co.uk

Wye’s Dave Wig­gins is off to coach the In­dian na­tional team

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