Fri 12 Nov 2021 19:24

Club Coaching Structure

Director of Rugby and Mens Head Coach
Sam Simpson

Sam Simpson was re-appointed Eccles RFC Director of Rugby and Club Head Coach from the start of the 2018/19 season, with the mens 1XV subsiquently promoted back to Level 7 in his returning year. Sam brings a wealth of rugby experience, playing from Level 2 to Level 7 and coaching all ages and genders, including working with Lancashire and North of England representative teams. As Head Coach, Sam previously guided Eccles RFC from Level 8 to 6 but stepped down before the start of the 2016/17 season due to family commitments. Sam performs his role at Eccles RFC in conjunction with his day job as an RFU Community Rugby Coach which ensures the club is in line with current RFU Best Practice.

Ladies Head Coach and Community Rugby Coach
James Wright

07791 227616

James Wright was appointed Head Ladies Coach in 2018. The Ladies are rebuilding to get back to the very high standards this section of the club has been accustomed to in recent years. James stepped up from Backs Coach to Head Coach, taking over the role from Mark Greenhalgh who was instrumental in supporting the Ladies in their development and progression up the Ladies leagues to Championship 1. Several former Eccles Ladies are now playing at the Elite professional level for Sale Sharks and Loughborough Lightening.

In September 2021 the club appointed James Wright as Community Rugby Coach. The responsibilities of our CRC include planning and delivering a programme of activity in local Schools, with the specific objective of improving links and recruiting players. The role also involves delivering high quality player-centred training sessions, sports camps, and community festivals at the club, and helping to deliver coaching CPD for our Mini & Junior section. 

Mini & Junior Chairman
Daniel Nicholls
07789 202189‬

Daniel Nicholls was appointed M&J Rugby Chairman in July 2021. In this role Dan oversees the effective and efficient delivery of rugby for 5–17 year olds at the club, which includes leading a team of mini and junior coaches, working with other club officers to coordinate the logistics of training sessions and fixtures, ensuring the safe participation of children in rugby competitions and tournaments in line with Agre Grade Regulations and ensuring  players, coaches, volunteers and parents are all familiar with the core values of the game. He is the first point of contact for any Junior rugby recruitment enquires.  

Club Chairman and Coaching co-ordinator:

Chris Gaffey

Chris was appointed Club Chairman in July 2021 and supports Sam, James and Dan with coaching communications and co-ordination, ensuring our coaches have the support they need to succeed and signposting relevant courses and CPD. Chris is RFU Level 2 qualified coach and has 5 years of (silverwear-winning) colts and youth coaching experience.

Contact details for all our coaches can be found on this website under 'TEAMS'.

What are the responsibilities of an Eccles coach?

Download  this pocket PDF guide for an overview of the role and responsibilities of coaching at Eccles RFC. This is a reference point to the principles and good practice the club values. 

What are the responsibilities of an Eccles Team Manager?

Download this pocket PDF guide for an overview of the role and responsibilities of managing a team at Eccles RFC. This is a reference point to the principles and good practice the club values. 

Why coach?

Coaching is one of the most crucial factors in developing, sustaining and increasing participation in rugby union, securing the future and quality of the English game. To be an effective coach, you will need to fulfil a number of different roles, covering the technical, tactical, physical and mental aspects demanded by our game.

The RFU is committed to offering a world-leading coaching development service, from helping volunteers who want to coach junior tag rugby on a Sunday morning to assisting people who aim to reach a professional coaching standard.

Coaching rugby union is a rewarding and challenging way to spend your time. It is a great way of staying involved in the sport and helping to nurture the next generation of players. Eccles Rugby Club provides high quality coaching that is central to recruiting and retaining players and developing the rugby skills and understanding of players at all levels.

How can I begin coaching?

As a new coach, you are advised to undertake one of the foundation courses such as the Rugby Ready, Kids First Tag Course and progress to taking the England Rugby Coaching Award ( ERCA ) Certificate which is the first level on the qualification pathway.

Coaches can also attend one of a range of RFU Continuous Personal Development (CPD) courses which help practising coaches develop a greater knowledge of the game such as Game Changer, CARDS, Principles of Attack & Principles of Defence. 

If you are interested in coaching at Eccles RFC please contact Sam Simpson, Director of Rugby, and we'll add you to our Coaches' WhatsApp Group where we share ideas and content.

How do I get on a coaching course?

For more information please contact Sam and refer to the England Rugby Website for upcoming courses in our area. Eccles RFC will reimburse the costs of coaching courses for those that attend and successfully achieve qualifications.

RFU Regulations

The Rules and Regulations of Rugby Union football in England can be found online on this link and from here, downloaded to your own computer.

RFU Coaching Resources

The RFU Online Coaching Academy website aims to communicate and support coaches at all levels of experience and expertise. The RFU is committed to offering a world-leading coaching development service, from helping volunteers who want to coach children’s tag rugby on a Sunday morning, to those aiming to become a professional coach.

An effective rugby coach is someone who “leads the optimum improvement of a rugby player at each stage of his/her development.” High quality coaching plays a pivotal role in sustaining and increasing participation in rugby union; it also helps talented players to improve their own performances which will secure the future quality of the English game. The enjoyment and fulfillment of the player is a direct reflection of the environment set by the coach.

To be an effective coach you will need to fulfill a number of different roles and accept a variety of responsibilities, covering social and personal skills, coaching process and leadership skills, technical skill focus, game understanding, physical and movement skills demanded by our game.

The RFU Coaching Academy offers further resources and features to enhance your development as a coach and your enjoyment of the course you may have attended or wish to attend. We hope you find the academy brings added value to your course and helps you identify the next step in your coaching journey.

World Rugby Coaching Resources

A wide range of online support and learning covering aspects of coaching to community forums, technical content and more.

New Zealand Rugby Coaching Resources

An excellent resource called Coaching Toolbox, a lot of the information is accessible, but some requires a subscription.