Grass root development in Rugby is as important as sending kids to Kindergarten. Unlike other sports, where individual skills play important roles in the outcome of a game, in rugby the collective effort of each players in its position will determine whether the team will win or lose.
Rugby players are created not born. Look at Wilko (Jonny Wilkonson) for example, he spends 2 hours before and after the scheduled training session to practice his pin-point kicking ability. Its all about determination, as one of my reader suggested, rugby is all about the heart.
We can’t afford to send a team to tournaments just to make up numbers anymore. We want to win. In order to win, we need to strategize.
BRFU has started its part of its strategy by introducing the game in schools. 10 years ago, there weren’t any school going rugby players around in Brunei, but in 2008, we’ve produced 275 school going players, the number of these school play going players will double in 5-6 years time.
The next step is to plan a the playing path for these kids. We want them to play the game and continue to involve in the game after their ‘shelf life’ has expired. We want them to be the administrators, coaches and match officials of the future.
For the first time in its short history, BRFU will be having two age group National Teams. We will organize a National selection for the Under-16 and Under-18 national team in order for us to be successful. We want to send a competitive team for the 2010 ARFU Junior Championship who has a chance of winning the Trophy.
We have two years to prepare the boys. We want the boys to work with the same management for two years. The coaching staffs will plan the kids training schedule, daily diet, gym time and everything that would make them winners. BRFU will arrange tour games for the boys to gauge the team’s level. Everything needs to be well planned and organized. We want to go and return back as Champions.
The 2008 under-16 team will be the feeder team for the 2008 under-18 team for our 2010 goal. The teams will work with two sets of coaching staffs. The under-16 team will be headed by Mr. Mark Pyrgos as the head coach whilst the under-18 will be headed by Mr. Ben Bourne as the head coach.
Mr. Mark Pyrgos, 47 years old, is currently teaching in Jerudong International School. A fullback, he represented England Schools and Student and played against Wales, Ireland and Netherlands back in the late 70’s. He played for Cambridge University (with Gavin Hastings!) and toured all over Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, South Korea, Thailand and Hong Kong in the 80’s. He represented Richmond F.C in England before the rugby professional era.
Mr. Bourne is well known among the local rugby scene. A Samoan, he has played club level in New Zealand. He coached and played for Royal Brunei Police during his first year in Brunei. He is also currently coaching the SOAS college under-16 and under-18 teams which emerged as the 2008 champions.
A panel of coaches will be scouting for the National representative for these two age groups. The National selection will be done on 4th April 2008. We will announce the place and time at a later date.