Mark Bennett is a British Commando and has been involved in coach development since the early 90’s. His business, Performance Development Systems (PDS), began out of his work in “training the trainer” courses for the military. From this experience, Mark left the military to focus on his business full time.
Mark believes in a practitioner-based approach to maximise real-world performance and PDS has worked with England Rugby, Bath Rugby, Warrington Wolves RL, NBA teams, the British Military, along with a host of schools, universities and businesses. He was honoured with a Member of the British Empire in 2006.
This episode will be the first of a series on coaches involved in the new Major League Rugby (MLR) competition starting up in the US for 2018.
Curry Hitchborn is no stranger to the podcast, as he was guest number 10 of #TRCCP and is the first to rejoin the show. He was recently announced as the new Director of Rugby Development at the Seattle Seawolves.
Tony Healy is a former Canadian national player, receiving 15 caps in the late 90’s. Professionally, he played for Bordeaux, Bayonne, and Mosley RFC to name a few. He was the BC Bears head coach in their undefeated 2017 CRC campaign and has also had roles with Canada U20, James Bay, and Brentwood HS. He’s going to be the head coach for the Seattle Seawolves in 2018.
Dr Nick Winkelman has been the Head of Athletic Performance and Science at the IRFU since April, 2016. Before that he held various roles at EXOS in the United States.
Initially, he completed his Bachelors in Exercise and Sports Science at Oregan State and then undertook a Masters in Strength and Conditioning at Edith Cowan University and a Doctorate at Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions. He is certified through the NSCA, the USA Weightlifting Association and the USA Track and Field Association and is an internationally recognised speaker and author on topics pertaining to skill acquisition, coaching science, movement skill development, and athletic profiling.
Simon Thomas is the Head of Physical Performance at the BNZ Crusaders in Super Rugby and has been a full time S&C coach in rugby for ten years. He’s had involvements with the Tasman Makos, Canterbury Academies, NPC teams and two U20 World Rugby Championships with New Zealand.
He began his career as a volunteer with the Crusaders in 2005 and now heads up the physical performance programme, consults across various rugby teams, sporting organisations and business.
Will Webster is the assistant coach for the Kenya men's 7s team on the HSBC world series and just finished his 1st year with the group.
Will went to Kenya in 2014 as Director of Sport at Kenton College Preparatory School, coached several clubs in Kenya's top-flight league as a skills coach, defence coach, and then as a head coach.
His playing career involved stints at U.S. Oyonnax in France, the Western Province Institute of Rugby, and he was also a member of the Exeter Chiefs Academy.
David Wessels is the Head Coach of the Western Force, who finished 2nd in the Australian Conference of this year’s Super Rugby competition.
He started coaching Under 9’s as soon as he left school and worked his way up for there. He won the Varsity Cup in South Africa with the University of Cape Town, coached with Jake White in his first year at the Brumbies, and then joined the Western Force in 2013 as a defence coach, before being promoted to senior assistant coach and then head coach for the 2017 season.
Damian McGrath is the head coach of the Canadian Men’s 7s team, who finished 8th in the World Rugby standings for the 2016-17 season.
Born in Yorkshire, England, he played and coached professional rugby league, both for the Leeds Rhinos and England (Coaching) before Sir Clive Woodward offered him the opportunity to cross codes in 2001. After this, he had multiple roles with England, Leicester, Spain, Wales, Samoa and now Canada.
Andy Evans is a strength and conditioning consultant based in British Columbia, Canada.
He holds a Bachelor of Human Kinetics and is currently completing a Masters in High Performance Coaching and Technical Leadership, both at UBC. He was the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach at Rugby Canada for 2013 to 2016, and prepared the senior men’s team for the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
He recently created Strength School, with the goal to establish a way to help any athlete, anywhere, with affordable and effective training programs.
Russell Earnshaw is an International Performance Coach. He is currently involved with the England U18 program and works for the RFU, providing support to coaches throughout England. Russell also coached England 7’s for 7 years. His playing career was with Bath, where they won the 1998 European Cup, and he also represented England in 7’s at the 1998 Comm Games. On top of that, he taught economics at Eastbourne College for 2 years.
Nick Hill is a former professional player of 9 years with Northampton Saints, Exeter Chiefs, Bedford Blues and Nuneaton, and also represented England U19 in the 1999 Junior World Cup. Being a rugby coach for 17 years and PE teacher for 15 years, Nick has worked in schools and clubs where he has coached players from 8 years old through to 58 years old in both the northern and southern hemisphere.