The Australia U20s will have a big year in 2016.
NSW Waratahs’ Tim Rapp and Queensland Reds’ Jason Gilmore will join Head Coach Adrian Thompson as Assistant Coaches in the Australian U20s coaching structure for 2016.
Alan Gaffney will also return as a technical advisor and selector to the national side.
Both Rapp and Gilmore are a part of the next generation of a highly talented crop of coaches coming through the ranks of Australian Rugby.
Next year will see the Australian side compete in the second Oceania Rugby Junior Championship as well as the World Rugby U20 Championship to be held in Manchester in the United Kingdom in June.
Similar to the Wallabies 2015 World Cup Campaign, the young Australian side will have a great challenge in their pool with hosts England, alongside Scotland and Italy standing in their way.
Adrian Thompson will lead the Australian team for his fourth year having previous experience as Assistant Coach of the Queensland Reds and Head Coach of Kyuden Voltex Japan and Australia A.
Gilmore and Rapp have coached extensively at Under 20s level for Queensland and NSW respectively with Rapp successfully coaching NSW to back to back National U20s Championship titles. Gilmore added to his coaching experience with his role as Head Coach of Queensland Country in the 2015 Buildcorp National Rugby Championship. Gilmore was also an assistant coach of the 2010 Australian U20s side that made it through to the final of the Junior World Championship.
Australian Rugby Union General Manager Pathways and Performance Ben Whitaker welcomed both coaches: “Tim and Jason have both enjoyed success at the state level and have earned the opportunity to join the national Under 20s program as part of an experienced coaching group for 2016.
“Led by our Head Coach Adrian Thompson, alongside one of Australia’s most experienced coaches in Alan Gaffney, we are confident this coaching staff can take our program to another level and produce the next generation of Wallabies, Super Rugby and Sevens players of the highest International standard.”
NSW Waratahs U20s Coach Tim Rapp was looking forward to the challenge: “It’s an exciting opportunity to be able to become an Assistant Coach of the Australian side.
“To represent your country at any level is a great honour and I look forward to joining Adrian, Jason and Alan along with the rest of the Australian U20s staff for a strong campaign in 2016.”
Jason Gilmore added that he looked forward to working with the best up and coming talent: “The Under 20s program has produced some talented Rugby players from across the country in recent years and I am looking forward to the challenge.
“The Australian U20s is creating the next generation of Wallabies and I look forward to working with these players at an exciting point of their development.”
The National Under 20s program has seen been enhanced in recent years with the introduction of the Southern States U20s Championship and the National U20s Championship as a part of the ARU’s elite development program, Pathway to Gold.
The Pathway to Gold Program includes the Junior Gold Cup, Australian Schools and Under 20s programs and the Buildcorp National Rugby Championship and is designed to create the next generation of top flight Australian Rugby players.