Head of Rugby at New Hall School, Mr Thomas Taylor, held a Rugby Masterclass for local Year 6 children, coaches and parents. Pupils came from a range of schools, including the Preparatory Divisions at New Hall, Perryfields Junior School, Writtle Junior School, The Cathedral School, Widford Lodge Preparatory School and St Cedd’s School; many play regularly at local rugby clubs. Mr Taylor was assisted by other New Hall coaches, as well as current New Hall students, who are members of the Saracens Academy programme. Visiting coaches included John Fletcher, former England U18 coach and founder of the Magic Academy, and current Saracens player and former New Hall student, Dominic Morris.
The evening began with a presentation on the developments in rugby coaching, open to parents and coaches as well as the children. Rugby is an evolving game, and the evening enabled coaches to share best practice, as well as to impart tips to parents regarding how they can encourage their children in the sport. The group then moved outside to New Hall’s 3G pitch for a practical session. Pupils were split up into teams, with a mix of schools in each team, to take part in fun, confidence-building, game development exercises.
Mr Taylor said: “This was the second year running this event and it was great to see players from our feeder schools and local clubs enjoy an opportunity to be coached by John, Dominic and the New Hall Staff. At New Hall, we work hard on developing skills in games in line with C.A.R.D.S and it was great to see the players buy into the session and express themselves in such a positive manner. They all worked incredibly hard in tough conditions. We encourage a lot of our 1st XV to contribute to coaching younger age groups throughout the season. To have them at the session, learning how to coach, was great to see and I know they took as much from it as the players did.”