Longdean School rugby coach Rhys Mellor was given the chance to join forces with England backs coach Andy Farrell at Twickenham Stadium to assist in coaching an exclusive skills and drills session and touch tournament on the hallowed turf.
Rhys recently qualified as a Level 2 rugby coach through the QBE Coaching Club, which is a joint initiative between the RFU and QBE Insurance.
This venture will see 2,015 new Level 2 rugby coaches recruited and trained by September 2015. It has been established to ensure the game has enough quality coaches to welcome new players and encourage them to stay within the sport.
Having recently become a school teacher, Rhys completed his Level 2 coaching qualification which allowed him to coach the team at Longdean. Furthermore, it opened up an opportunity for him to coach at St Albans Rugby Club.
Farrell praised Rhys and the other QBE Coaching Club coaches for all their hard work in getting to where they are now, saying: “It’s extremely important to get more coaches like Rhys, trained up to Level 2 so we can help grow the game.
“As we’ve seen from the group here today, their passion will inspire young players to start playing and maintain their interest in rugby.”
Rhys reflected after meeting Farrell: “Today has been so much fun. Speaking to Andy Farrell about his coaching journey has made me realise that the qualifications I now have are going to help me hugely in fulfilling my coaching goals.
“Getting out on the pitch here at Twickenham has been a definitely highlight and an experience that I will never forget.”
As the initiative nears the 2,015 for 2015 target, QBE has launched My Coach, a national competition that looks to reward four coaches who have inspired and supported the success of amateur and professional players alike.
Winners of the competition will receive a coaching session from a legendary rugby personality at their club as well as a place on the QBE Coaching Club, to become a Level 2 qualified coach.
Farrell added: “QBE My Coach is a great competition and I’d definitely encourage clubs across the country to enter their inspirational coaches.
“This is a fantastic way to support and recognise the impact that coaches can have in sustaining and developing participation in rugby at a grass roots level.”