London Scottish is today announcing a number of changes to senior personnel within the club and also to the playing structures within the club.
At the start of the season, Forwards and Defence Coach Alex Codling resigned after the first league game and the club has since been on the search to appoint a suitable replacement. The club is delighted to announce that we will be replacing him on a full time basis with James Buckland, a promising young coach with playing experience at Leicester Tigers, London Wasps and London Irish. In addition, France and Wasps legend Serge Betsen will become Defence coach, working with the squad for two sessions per week.
Also joining the coaching team will be assistant forwards coach Jim Evans, the Harlequins Academy Coach, working with the squad on line-outs. Additionally, the club is employing a part-time Strength and Conditioning consultant Ian Taplin to support the efforts of Simon Elkinson. The club will also be investing in more medical support.
The squad will be moving its training hours during the week to daylight hours. This will result in less time pressure than now given all team runs currently have to be concentrated into two evenings per week under portable lights.
A number of London Scottish squad players that are part time will be affected by these changes. However, the club is confident that many will be able to adapt to the new day time schedule, whilst others will be loaned out and kept very much within the framework of the club. The squad will also be boosted through our continued good relationships with dual registered and/or loan professional players from the Premiership.
These changes follow on from the earlier announcement this week that Tony Copsey, our part time CEO since July 2010, will be leaving us at Christmas. However, the club is delighted that Tony will continue as an advisor to help bed in the new structure and ensure a smooth transition.
Director of Rugby Simon Amor: “The positives of the new set-up are very clear: we’ll have more time to spend with the players, working on their core skills, decision-making and general development. And whilst we won’t be a fully professional set-up, the decision shows the club’s progress, ambitions and continual focus on development. I was incredibly proud of the way our players committed to what were sometimes difficult training conditions, facilities and challenges previously and I’ve also been delighted how a number of our part time players have already adapted their current work to enable them to make some of our daytime sessions. It shows wonderful commitment from them.
“The training change also ties in nicely with our revamped coaching set-up and to get three such highly renowned coaches onboard, who are young in coaching years but offer us a huge amount of potential and knowledge, is a big boost for the club. The key thing for us over the next few weeks is to gel as coaches to help create the right environment.”
CEO Tony Copsey : “There is no doubt it has been a difficult time since Alex Codling left the club but I am delighted that we have been able to attract high calibre new coaches such to the club. I have no doubt, along with Simon Amor, they will add a huge amount to our playing capabilities. The change to day time training is something we have been considering for a while as a natural step up in our playing environment, which is much needed within a competition such as the Championship. To the part time players affected by these changes I would like to say a huge thank you – not only for their fantastic contribution to London Scottish to date but also their total support and commitment to these changes.”