This website uses cookies. By continuing to browse you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Find out more by viewing our privacy and cookie policy.

Rowntree salutes RFU Scrum Factory

17 December 2010

Three Portsmouth University students had a training session to remember at Pennyhill Park - thanks to England Scrum Coach Graham Rowntree.

Ben Pryer, Luke Haslam, and Duncan Liddell travelled to England’s training ground in Surrey to meet the former England prop, taking part in a unique scrum lesson as part of the Scrum Factory programme supported by Marsh.

Never one to shy away from sharing his enthusiasm for the pack arts, Graham taught the students some new techniques which made an immediate impact.

England's assistant coach Graham Rowntree coaching a front row

Photo: Getty Images

“It was brilliant, ten minutes with Graham taught us so much!” commented hooker Ben. “He gave us simple ways to break the scrum down and things to check before we engage, which makes it more understandable.  You could feel the difference immediately.

“The safety aspect is really important when playing in the front row, and it’s something that shouldn’t be taken for granted. A lot of emphasis is put on being safe when you start playing, but that advice doesn’t always continue as you get older. The Scrum Factory programme is a great way to continue that safe practice regardless of your age.”

Graham Rowntree said: “Seeing young players with such enthusiasm for playing rugby, and especially in the front row, is really encouraging. Props and hookers are vital to every team and to play in those positions requires a huge amount of skill and technique.

“Marsh’s support of The Scrum Factory enables us to extend the coaching for those techniques up and down the country and recruit more players into the front row which, for me, is great news.

 “I was lucky enough to have had some very talented coaches throughout my playing career and without those guys I wouldn’t be here today. I’m sure the players involved in The Scrum Factory will find the expert coaching just as beneficial.”

Marsh is no stranger to rugby as official insurance brokers to the RFU. It has now broadened its association to include as well as the Scrum Factory the RFU’s Emergency First Aid Course, Concussion Awareness Programme, Injury Surveillance Project, Leadership Academy and Scrum Factory, which aims to recruit and train front row forwards.

The programmes

Scrum Factory
The scrum is unique to rugby union, as are the players who play in it. The sport needs to continually produce capable and skilled players particularly in the front row and second row to participate safely in the scrum. By developing the numbers of front row players, we will also ensure fewer games become cancelled. The Scrum Factory is a coach and player development programme running nationwide and incorporate some of the best know ‘scrummagers’ in the country. A new scrum coaching DVD resource will be developed to run alongside the programme.

RFU’s Emergency First Aid Course
To provide a safe environment in which the game can be enjoyed by all, the course is open to clubs to encourage members, coaches and volunteers to attend a first aid training course so they can respond to basic first aid situations with confidence. This unique first aid qualification ensures that a nominated individual can take charge of any first aid need and incident, calling in the emergency services when required.

Concussion Awareness
To raise awareness and the dangers associated with concussion via an education programme for coaches, players, and parents of youth players.

Injury Surveillance
In association with the Sport and Exercise Science Research Group at the University of Bath, the project is funded by the RFU Injured Players Foundation and is designed to monitor trends in injury over time, gain the necessary insight into the possible causes and patterns of injury to enable more detailed research into these and to enable implementation of measures to prevent injury.  The study, now in its second season of full data capture, records physiotherapist interactions with players on match days from 89 grassroots clubs in England.

Leadership Academy
The RFU Leadership Academy aims to identify, support and develop the next generation of talented, enthusiastic and skilled leaders for clubs, referee societies and constituent bodies.  It compliments existing club and constituent body succession plans by helping potential leaders develop the skills and confidence to step up to the next level of leadership.  The programme seeks to use best practice in leadership development in the context of the voluntary rugby environment including facilitating networking opportunities to allow participants to share experiences and solutions on similar rugby issues.

The Rugby Football Union (RFU) is the National Governing Body for rugby union in England and supports participants and fans from the grassroots to the national team.

Marsh has over 24,000 employees and provides advice and transactional capabilities to clients in over 100 countries. Marsh is a unit of Marsh & McLennan Companies (MMC), a global professional services firm with over 50,000 employees worldwide and annual revenue of $10 billion. MMC also is the parent company of Guy Carpenter, the risk and reinsurance specialist; Mercer, the provider of HR and related financial advice and services; and Oliver Wyman, the management consultancy. Its stock (ticker symbol: MMC) is listed on the New York, Chicago and London stock exchanges. MMC’s website address is Marsh’s Web site is


IBM TryTracker