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Andy Farrell to run defence session at Manor Park

22 April 2014

  • England Backs Coach heads to Midlands Three West (South) club
  • “It’s great to get out in the grassroots game and do this kind of thing” – Farrell
Andy Farrell

Photo: Getty Images

Andy Farrell will run a coaching session at Midlands Three West (South) club Manor Park on Thursday evening as part of England's connection with grassroots rugby.

After the success of Graham Rowntree’s visit to Old Leamingtonians last year, England Backs Coach Farrell will be out in the grassroots game to run a series of defensive drills to test Manor Park’s first-team squad.

Quite obviously, Rowntree focussed on his beloved scrums – delivering a scrum walk-through master class – but this time former rugby league star Farrell will look at the principles underpinning a successful defence and safe and effective tackle technique.

The Nuneaton side, who were chosen from more than 600 entries on RFU social media channels, led recent fixtures against the top sides in their division only to ultimately succumb to late tries.

England’s aggressive line-speed and “we want the ball back” mind-set has been a real feature under Stuart Lancaster and Farrell is looking forward to imparting some of that know-how on a new set of players.

“It’s great to get out in the grassroots game and do this kind of thing,” he said. “I’ve heard they’ve conceded a few late tries in big games recently so will work them hard and see how they get on.

“It’s important that we, as an England set-up, stay connected with the rugby which goes on up and down the country and pass on our knowledge where  we can.”

One of the issues for the third team in a town like Nuneaton is keeping players engaged over the summer off-season and club spokesperson Bobby Bridge said Farrell’s visit will provide a welcome fillip. 

He said: “The lads are really excited about this. We've certainly seen a rise in the number of people interested in training for this week, some of whom have not been seen midweek at this club for many a year!

“One of our challenges in this town is keeping players interested over the summer and getting them to come back and play, so having Andy Farrell here will be a big boost. We head off on our end-of-season tour the following day too.”