ICYMI: Ben Nicholls, Warriors Asst. Head Coach, Reviews His Premiership Coaching Experience
Salt Lake City, UT–Having got to pick the brains of those at the top level of the game, the current batch of Premiership Rugby Scholarships winners enjoyed a memorable day with Northampton Saints.
Alongside taking in the sights of Franklin’s Gardens and getting to sit in on training for Saints’ non-playing 23 as well as seeing the club’s captain’s run, the American coaches had an audience with director of rugby Chris Boyd and senior coaching staff.
Salt Lake City native and Utah Warriors Asst. Head Coach Ben Nicholls was also one of a number of coaches on the trip who has experience of the upper reaches of the game.
His grandad captained Rhodesia while his dad wore the armband for Zimbabwe before Ben himself then played for the same nation at sevens level and Major League Rugby team Utah Warriors in 2018.
He is now on the coaching staff at the Warriors and he credited the day with serving as a brilliant chance to assess the state of American rugby just by talking to his fellow coaches.
“South Africa is really professional, just like the UK, whereas the States is still developing and growing,” Nicholls said.
“We went to a local rugby club in Banbury the other day and a lot of the American coaches weren’t used to seeing a community club with different levels of participation so that’s what we’re trying to instill over in America.
“I think it’s on the right track and moments like this are incredible, it’s brilliant to see the enthusiasm coming out of the coaches in America and that’s how it’s going to grow.
“It’s just a fantastic experience all-round. Saints were very welcoming, open and transparent and very friendly.
“In terms of the theory, it’s fun to have a discussion with real people and backroom staff taking their time to casually tell us what they do and why.
“The goal, in the long run, is to have partnerships with teams like the Saints so we can have partnerships to help us grow, so we can come and pick the minds of coach – it’s a fantastic opportunity.”
The program, which works in partnership with the Friends of the British Council and USA Rugby, saw the participants receive an extensive insight into high-quality rugby coaching on a journey which also saw them visit Leicester Tigers and Wasps.
In addition, they completed a Level 300 training course co-delivered by Premiership Rugby and USA Rugby – empowering the coaches and providing them with the skills to support the development of the game in the USA.
For more information on the Premiership Rugby Scholarhsip and the Friends of British Council–USA please visit https://www.premiershiprugbyscholarships.co.uk/
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