To a Tee: How Wallaroos assistant Peter Breen is helping some of the world's best kickers find their edge

Fri, Jul 12, 2019, 9:00 PM
Beth Newman
by Beth Newman
Peter Breen is passionate about coaching. Photo: Walmsley
Peter Breen is passionate about coaching. Photo: Walmsley

He’s supplied kicking tees to some of rugby’s straightest shooters and new Wallaroos assistant Peter Breen wants to help Australia’s backs take the next step.

Breen, a former Highlander, began his company Rugby Bricks in his final year of playing in 2017, an online platform for rugby skills and mindset tips.

That platform grew from a passion for the technical side of the game and a burgeoning interest in coaching, recruiting some of the game’s biggest names including All Blacks Ben and Aaron Smith to help bring his ideas to life.

“When I was playing I always took a real interest in game plans and how we can do things better so I guess it was always in the back of my mind the last couple of years of playing that I'd really like to coach because I actually started doing it when I was playing just naturally,’ he said.

“I started up Rugby Bricks in my last year of playing in 2017 so it's an online platform over Instagram, Facebook and Youtube where it's skill videos - goal kicking, kicking and passing.”

It was as part of this business that he turned his hand to developing a kicking tee, keen to create the first one of its kind produced out of New Zealand.

His tees have become incredibly popular, made from thermoplastic rubber that is softer than some of its hard plastic rivals and moulded to more securely sit a rugby ball on top.

“I'm obviously from New Zealand down south and I wanted to develop a kicking tee that was made and designed in New Zealand,” he said.

“Going back to my mentality of attention to detail, I wanted to make a product that one, I would use and I would buy and just develop it to be a really good product, which is what we've ended up with.”

Long-time friend Hayden Parker was one of the first to adopt the Rugby Bricks kicking tees and now Quade Cooper and Christian Lealiifano are counted among his customers.

Breen moved to Melbourne with his physio partner Jai almost two years ago and quickly became involved in the coaching side of things with the Rebels - helping the academy and then working into Super W.

“I've done a bit of work with Quade Cooper and Christian Lealiifano on his goal kicking, so it's been good obviously living in Melbourne getting around the Rebels boys, Matt To'omua as well starting to do some work with him and the cool thing is they're starting to use Rugby Bricks kicking tees which is great,” he said.

“It's awesome seeing the girls all using them as well so it's been great to see my little brand grow and it's good to have the girls and boys on board as well.”

While his tees are beginning to take off, Breen’s real passion is coaching and his focus now is on helping the Wallaroos attack fire.

Breen is keen to learn from those around him, grateful to have been mentored by former Highlanders coach Tony Brown and soaking up information from the current Wallaroos crop as well.

“I've been really lucky, I had Tony Brown coach me as a bit of a coach mentor and now it's been great having Stephen (Larkham) on board because what you think you're doing is right and then just to have someone say, “Yep you're on the right path” and it was really pleasing.

“It's great having those guys and their input and Dwayne Nestor is an extremely organised person, so he's great to learn from as well.”

Fans will have their first glimpse of Breen's inlfuence on the Wallaroos attack on Saturday when they take on Japan in Newcastle and he hopes it's the beginning of a long coaching career.

"I'm taking it step by step - the Wallaroos is such a great team to join up with and be a part of and I'm loving the energy and the people I'm working with here," he said.

"I do want to make a career out of it and I do understand I've turned 30 and I want to learn and do things well so we'll see what comes."

The Wallaroos take on Japan at Newcastle’s No. 2 Sportsground on Saturday July 13, kicking off at 3pm AEST before a North Sydney Oval Test on Friday July 19 kicking off at 7pm AEST, both LIVE on FOX SPORTS, Kayo Sports and via RADIO. Buy tickets here.