Gen Blue U18's taken through camp two


By NSW Waratahs Media unit

A total of 25 players coming through the NSW pathway assembled at the David Phillips Sporting Complex in Sydney on the weekend for the second Generation Blue Under 18s development camp.

The squad features the best of the Generation Blue Under 16s players comprising Sydney Juniors, Country Juniors and NSW Schools. These players join an already established group of players who represented NSW and Australian Schoolboys in 2017.

The focus of the two-day camp was rugby skills development, game preparation, match analysis, and nutrition for performance and recovery.

NSW Waratahs Elite Youth Manager, Pat McCutcheon, along with former Welsh international and current Generation Blue Under 20s forwards coach, Ben Evans, and former NSW Waratahs back Jim Hilgendorf facilitated the camp.

“This camp is targeted at engaging our players and inducting them into the Gen Blue fold. At the same time, our team of coaches give instant, detailed and individual feedback to each player,” McCutcheon said.

“These camps are designed for players’ skills development, whether it is position-specific or core rugby skills. We want to accelerate the growth of our elite players.”

McCutcheon stresses the importance of this squad’s place in the NSW development pathway.

“This is a touch point for NSW Rugby to have with players at this level. The more time and exposure these players have in a professional environment, the higher the quality of the playing group,” he said.

“By producing better quality Under 18s players, NSW will hopefully have a higher representation at national level. The flow on effect is better Under 20s players and better Super Rugby players, which is a good headache for (NSW Waratahs Coach) Daryl Gibson to have when it comes to squad selection.

“While the Under 18s programme is part of the pathway, it isn’t the whole hog. This particular camp was centred around developing individual players’ skills needed to develop in order to excel.”

A component of the camp was aimed at upskilling the coaches of Under 18s teams.

“Manu Sutherland (National Talent Scout/Pacific Island Programme Manager, Rugby AU), who assists with talent identification and coaching of elite pathways in NSW, helped coach the coaches and his feedback is invaluable for a coach’s personal development.

“Progression of skills development is one of the most critical components of a coach’s repertoire. The delivery of playing concepts and ideas is the hardest part of coaching, depending on the age, skill and maturity of the group.

“In addition to that, you need to be able to deliver feedback to players in the most effective way. A coach’s ability to communicate these skills to each level of athlete is important,” McCutcheon said.

The Generation Blue Under 18s attended the NSW Waratahs’ round nine Vodafone Super Rugby fixture against the Queensland Reds at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Saturday night, and analysed the game the following day as part of their camp curriculum.

The NSW Waratahs return to Allianz Stadium for an ANZAC Round special against 2017 Super Rugby finalists, the Lions of South Africa. The evening will feature a double-header, with the NSW Women looking to take out the inaugural Buildcorp Super W final against old rivals, the Queensland Women. The Super W final kicks off at 1645 and will be televised live on Foxsports.

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