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BC Rugby – Coach Derek Pue of the Kamloops Raiders Rugby Club receives a pass while playing a game designed to teach key rugby skills

Vancouver, BC – January 25, 2016:  Rugby Coaches from across BC and Western Canada came together in Vancouver over the weekend for the 2016 BC Rugby Coaching Conference, which was held at St. George’s School.

Leading the workshops were some of Canada’s preeminent rugby strategists, including Kieran Crowley (Benetton Treviso), Gabriel Fulcher (Canadian Direct Insurance BC Bears) and Graeme Moffat (Prairie Wolf Pack). All three speakers drew upon their experiences in international rugby, either as Coaches or players.
“For us to develop as a nation we need to have top quality coaches delivering Rugby at all levels, and these events are crucial to ensure we are all continually learning and developing as Coaches,” said Dean Murten, BC Rugby Performance Development Manager.  “The opportunity to learn from such experienced Coaches is very valuable.”
Former Rugby Canada Senior Men’s Fifteens Coach, Kieran Crowley, spoke extensively about the changing role of kicking in rugby and the advantages that teams with good kickers have in open play. Having previously led Canada through two Rugby World Cups, Crowley was also able to address questions from attendees on a wide range of topics, but most importantly was able to connect ideas from the highest level of the game with actions that can be put into practice at the Club and High School level.
Graeme Moffat, who joined Crowley on Rugby Canada’s Coaching Staff at the 2015 Rugby World Cup, and is currently the Coach of the Prairie Wolf Pack Senior Men’s Team, led a high-energy session on attacking strategies. Gabriel Fulcher, the recently appointed Coach of Canadian Direct Insurance BC Bears, countered with a presentation focused on defense. The Bears and the Wolf Pack will meet on July 2nd in Calgary and July 9th in Victoria as part of the Canadian Rugby Championship. Both Coaches were collegial during the conference, and offered attendees some fresh perspectives on how to engage players when shaping their attacking and defensive mentalities.
One of most valuable topics covered during the weekend was the promotion of having fun and using training games that encourage the skill development of athletes. Attendees were also given several insights on how playfulness and fun can be used as key tools when driving participation in rugby and engaging newcomers to the sport.
“The conference was a great idea builder for me,” said Coach Adam Laforest from Nanaimo District Secondary School. “I am excited to implement a new philosophy around play to learn instead or learn to play. Practice time is very valuable and the game based methods shown will help me to make practices more efficient.”
During her presentation, BC Rugby CEO Annabel Kehoe highlighted the tremendous opportunities available to grow and promote participation in rugby by capitalizing on the interest that will be generated through the upcoming major rugby events. These will include the HSBC Canada Sevens Vancouver Tournament and the Rio2016 Olympic Games. The Canadian Olympic Women’s Rugby Team is expected to be in contention for a medal, and the energy that such an achievement would create can only serve to bolster the efforts of coaches building the sport of rugby in BC at the grassroots level.
The two-day conference concluded with demonstrations of mobility and stability exercises from Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist Conan Cooper.
BC Rugby, in conjunction with Rugby Canada, offers development opportunities for Coaches throughout the year, including World Rugby Courses and National Coaching Certification Program modules. For more information about coaching rugby or developing as a rugby coach, visit

More information about BC Rugby

The British Columbia Rugby Union, commonly known as BC Rugby, is the governing body for Rugby in British Columbia and is a Provincial Union of Rugby Canada, the national governing body. Representing over 7,500 individuals registered through around 60 Member Clubs and Associations across the Province, BC Rugby leads and manages the sport with the aim to grow participation and develop excellence in all games of Rugby and in all facets of the sport.