Cross-code coaching union launched
October 16, 2012
Cardiff Blues coach Phil Davies is one of five directors of the RCA © Getty Images
The Rugby Coaches Association (RCA) has been launched with the aim of representing interests of coaches in both rugby league and rugby union.
The RCA will represent all member coaches in both codes and aid them in their dealings with the relevant governing bodies, acting as a "collective and representative voice of its members". The RCA will also offer help with employment law, coaches' contracts and any termination and disciplinary issues.
The association is the brainchild of sports lawyer Richard Moon, who was involved with the establishment of the Rugby Players' Association back in 1996. Moon will act as a director of the RCA and will work alongside fellow directors Sir Ian McGeechan, Phil Davies (Cardiff Blues), Glenn Delaney (London Irish) and Professor Dave Collins (former performance director of UK Athletics).
The not-for-profit association has also named four ambassadors: Neil Back (Edinburgh Rugby), Jim Mallinder (Northampton Saints), Conor O'Shea (Harlequins) and Tony Smith (Warrington Wolves).
The primary concern for the association is the number of coaches who have been sacked in recent years, and the lack of support on offer to those individuals. This season has already seen one departure in the Aviva Premiership, with Sale Sharks giving forwards coach Steve Scott the boot after just four games. And McGeechan, one of the RCA's directors, emphasised the vulnerability of the coaches.
"It has been clear for some time that rugby coaches have become more exposed as we work under closer scrutiny and with greater expectations," McGeechan said. "We have no united voice and have been left to look after our individual affairs unlike the players for example, for whom the Rugby Players Association does an excellent job.
"The RCA has been set up to represent all our professional colleagues. It is unique in that it brings together coaches from both codes to co-operate in the interests of all. I'm confident that it will have an important role to play in looking after its members as professional rugby develops in this country."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.