Wallabies coach Dave Rennie and legendary rugby league coach Wayne Bennett are set to come together as part of a Youth Rugby Coaches Forum at Nudgee College in January 2022.
The two-day program will see the pair joined by the likes of Wallabies assistant Matt Taylor, Reds coach Brad Thorn and Super Rugby AU MVP James O'Connor as they look to create and build long-term collaborations across coaches in Australia.
“I’ve been involved in schoolboy rugby for over 15 years and certainly in the last 3-4 years, I’ve been quite aware that there’s more potential there to collaborate and network as coaches,” Nudgee Head of Rugby and program organiser Sean Graham said.
“I think maybe’s there is an attitude out there that people are a bit protective of their IP. I think it’s important that we share ideas for the benefit of the game and rugby so everyone’s coaching and delivering the best practices and programs.
“There’s an opportunity there to formalise networking between coaches rather it just being organic when you bump into coaches on the weekend or at different events….the more we can bounce ideas off each other and challenge ourselves, the better the game’s going to be.”
The forum is designed to provide invaluable experience for coaches across the country through Q & A's and on-field sessions with some of the brightest minds in the game.
Graham admitted he was initially surprised by the warm reception received by the stacked line-up, praising the Wallabies boss for his investment into the event and grassroots rugby.
“I was really blown away when I reached out to presenters and they were more than happy to volunteer their time. Looking at the lineup, I was hoping to nail maybe one or two of those headline performers but we’ve managed to nail all of them which is exciting,” he believes.
“Dave Rennie’s been awesome, he’s very invested in grassroots Rugby so he was great. Matt Taylor, I’ve seen him present at Nudgee prior so he was more than happy to commit and present.
“They believe in what we’re trying to do which is really assuming and pleasing.”
DEVELOPMENT: Mogg out to impress
Graham is optimistic the event across January 21-22 can help start ongoing and long-term relationships between coaches throughout the world.
“I’m hopeful and I had this idea pre-COVID, I would love to see more New Zealand coaches and schools and clubs from across the ditch and have that engagement (in the future),” he added.
“We want to ultimately go further abroad and attract some coaches from some of the Pacific Islanders and even further.
“I’d love to see this grow even further on a national and even international level.”