- Innovative scheme helps Nottingham Casuals solve front row issues
- 'Prop Idol' initiative devised by RFU coaches
Photo: RFU Archive
Nottingham Casuals have solved their front row problems thanks to a ‘Prop Idol’ initiative devised by Darren Gourley, the RFU Regional Talent ID & Development Coach for Midlands East, and Pete Shaw, the RFU Rugby Development Officer for Nottinghamshire.
Casuals sought the advice of Gourley and Shaw after a shortage of front row forwards meant that they were often forced to resort to uncontested scrums at second and third XV level.
Casuals identified potential players who were willing to convert from their current positions to the front row and introduced an incentive scheme for those players who took part in the ‘Prop Idol’ programme.
Gourley then ran a programme of sessions at Casuals aimed at developing the skills and techniques required to play in the front row.
"We now have nine new players willing to try front row," said Nottingham Casuals Club Coach Co-ordinator Oli Motts.
"Some will be more successful than others but we hope one or two will make the first team squad. Overall the ‘Prop Idol’ programme has been a benefit to the club as it means less unopposed games with more resources to draw upon. The players themselves got a great deal out of it and thoroughly enjoyed the programme.
"The club has had no games played with uncontested scrums and in fact the third XV recently supplied all three front row forwards to the opposition to avoid a game going to uncontested scrums. Prior to the project they were averaging one game in every three or four matches going to uncontested."
The incentives offered by Casuals to those who signed up to Prop Idol were the creation of a Front Row Union Club, badges for all players involved, no match fees for players who have played in the front row and potential progress into a higher team.