Super Rugby


Pat Richards appointed Queensland Rugby Union Director of Coaching

The Queensland Rugby Union has appointed the experienced Pat Richards as new Director of Coaching to develop and educate Rugby coaches in the state.

Richards will work with the assistance of seasoned advisors, including legendary Queensland Rugby coaches Alec Evans and Dick Marks, as well as the much respected and experienced Gaven Head - to ensure coaches are equipped to instruct and improve Queensland’s next crop of Rugby talent.

QRU Interim CEO David Hanham said Richards’ appointment will aid Queensland Rugby in ensuring its club players are receiving the best possible coaching.

“Improving Queensland’s coaching structures is a strategic priority for the Queensland Rugby Union and Rugby Australia, like us, has a focus on improving coaching education at clubs and schools in our regions throughout Queensland.

“Having surrounded Brad Thorn with experienced, specialist coaches at the elite level, we are ensuring that the talent Queensland produces in development in all levels across Queensland is adequately supported by expert coaches, and by coaching techniques and philosophies that are regarded as world’s best practice.

“Pat has spent over 20 years within the Queensland Rugby coaching ranks and he and his expert panel of advisors are some of the most highly regarded and experienced coaches in the Rugby world.”

Richards brings a wealth of experience to the role, having coached at a Queensland and Australian schoolboy level, in the National Rugby Championship (NRC) as an assistant coach with McInnes Wilson Lawyers Brisbane City and in Queensland Premier Rugby, where he led Easts to premierships in 2008 and 2013 as head coach.

“I’m looking forward to working with all the different coaches around the state, mentoring them and making sure that everyone is working for the development of Rugby in Queensland,” said Richards.

“We’ve got to build a model of skill development that focuses on core and fundamental skills from an U6 age group all the way up through to U16.

“Across the state in all the regions and all the schools we have to have a clear, identified progression of skills.

“It’s not going to be a quick fix, but we will have a structure that will allow us to deliver sustained success in the future.”

Richards will begin working on establishing a new curriculum for coaching this weekend when he, along with Evans, Marks and Head, meets with coaches from across the state for a development workshop.

“There’s 45 coaches coming from around Queensland for two days and we’ll be creating a skill-development program with them.

“From there we will write a new coaching program and curriculum and aim to roll it out in early 2019 for every club and school in Queensland, no matter the region.”

Richards is also liaising with the St.George Queensland Reds (and Reds Academy) coaching staff to ensure that the club and school coaching education program is in line with the expectations of the organisation at an elite level.

Coaching expert Dick Marks said: “Pat is the right person to lead this initiative as he understands what the challenges have been and is committed to the aim of re-educating.

“Those of us who have spent a lifetime contributing to coaching techniques are delighted to have been asked to provide our expertise to advise on developing the next generation of Queensland Rugby talent – we used to be the second strongest province in the world and should be aiming to again have the best coaching structure and education for our coaches in Australia," said Marks.

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