Rhys Williams has been breaking defences for RGC over the last 3 years, but his journey to the Principality Premiership can via Leicester Tigers.
The experience of his time at the English Premiership Sides Academy will be the foundation in his new role as Coleg Cambria Rugby Skills Co-Ordinator.
“Looking back it was a huge move for me, and it was tough. The options in North Wales were not at the same level as there is now, so when Leicester came in then it was a massive opportunity. I had to grow up quickly, as I didn’t have the home comforts which was a learning curve off the field.
The year old is excited in his role at the College, especially being involved from the early stages of planning “It is brilliant, we have a blank canvas so being able to lay the foundations is good. Coleg Cambria are new partners with RGC, so it is about developing the links and opportunities. The aim is to build the rugby at the College, and with the link up with RGC look to try and stop the drop off in players leaving the sport at an early age.
“I have also started to look at the game differently, with a tactical eye. Seeing the structures and the reasons why coaches look to play certain ways against certain teams. When you are in the thick of the game, the 80 minutes go by and you don’t always see the bigger picture. “
“As a player I have been lucky to have worked under a number of coaches, and hopefully I can take that into me new role – picking up things from Richard Cockerill, Geordan Murphy, and Mark Jones which isn’t a bad list”
RGC Performance Manager Josh Leach is seeing the pathway from player to coach increasing as well in the region “Rhys is already having a big impact in his role at Coleg Cambria. He has gotten a feel for the College environment and together with Coleg Cambria we have outlined a plan for developing their rugby programme over the next year or so with the end goal of providing a platform for student players in the North East of Wales to study, train, and play to a high level. Part of this plan includes competing in the WRU Wednesday League.
Rhys is now working hard on establishing a high quality rugby programme and fixture list, along with a network of support for student players ranging from academic support to facilities and transport. He is one of a number of RGC players, past and current, who have made the transition from playing to coaching. For the development of North Wales Rugby as a whole it is so important that we use the experiences these players have gained during their careers to benefit the clubs, schools, colleges, and the young players coming through the pathway.
Others examples such as Joe Simpson (Bangor RFC / Bangor University Hub Officer), Meilir Parry (Holyhead RFC Coach), Kelvin Davies (Llandudno RFC Coach), Tom Hughes (Bala RFC Coach), Andy Baston (RGC U15 West Coach), Andrew Williams (Coleg Llandrillo & RAG Coach), amongst others are all helping develop the future players of North Wales.”