Ambition burns brightly for Jon Callard, a member of the RFU National Academy Coaching team for six years. He has the ongoing belief that his career highlights have yet to come. Jon’s modesty belies his status as a pioneering high achiever in his playing days.
On his Test debut, he landed four penalty goals that beat New Zealand 15-9 at Twickenham in 1993, the fourth of England’s six victories over the All Blacks so far. He scored all of Bath’s points five years later in the 19-18 win over Brive that brought the accolade of being the first English club to lift the Heineken Cup.
It was a distant echo from his days as a mini player, initially when five, at Machen RFC in South Wales. Leicester-born, he is now a kicking coach for all England age groups and was among the management team when the youthful national XV held a multi capped Barbarians squad to 38-32 at Twickenham in late May this year.
Jon’s coaching career dates back to 1998 when he was appointed as assistant to Andy Robinson at Bath, where he became head coach two years later. He moved on to Leeds Carnegie as first team coach in 2002 from where he joined the RFU.
A former PE and Science teacher at Downside, he played six times for the Barbarians from 1994-97 and, as a specialist full back, amassed 2,087 points in 210 matches for Bath in whose success he played an integral part. It included Twickenham cup final triumphs in 1990, 1994, 1995 and 1996, alongside five Courage League titles.
He had been educated at Bassaleg School in Newport and St Paul’s College, Cheltenham and played for the Black & Ambers of Newport for five years from the age of 17 before signing for Bath. Jon said: "My mentors at The Rec were Jack Rowell and Brian Ashton." Both went on to coach England.
Rugby runs in Jon’s family. His brother, Nigel a scrum half, captained England Colts before a serious knee injury cut short his career. Other sports have been on Jon’s leisure time agenda. "I played cricket at junior level for Monmouthshire and nowadays I enjoy golf and cycling." As befits his working life, keeping fit is central to his theme of ‘onwards and upwards’.