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Welsh Rugby Stars Score Coaching Set Up At Durham School

22 September 2020

From September 2020 two International Welsh rugby professionals, Will Jones and Cai Devine, are set to coach young athletes at Durham School whilst working towards their degrees at Durham University.

Jones and Devine secured an agreement with Durham School, a school that prides itself on having the 5th oldest school rugby club in the world, where the two will board at the site in exchange for coaching the pupils during the week and supporting at matches.

Both have expressed their excitement about this coaching opportunity and are passionate about helping the next generation of rugby stars.

Kieran McLaughlin, Headmaster at Durham School, is delighted to welcome the two coaches. He said “We’re so pleased that the pupils are able to work with such successful figures that want to share their love of the sport. We welcome Cai and Will to our Durham family and hope they enjoy their time here”.

Jones, who coached Ospreys U16 last year, said; “I’m really looking forward to having the chance to coach again. When I’ve coached in the past, I always enjoyed seeing the players grow and improve. It is really rewarding”. Jones, who is originally from Swansea, made his debut for Ospreys in 2016 and has since represented Wales internationally.

Devine, spent the first 16 years of his life in Singapore but then decided to move back to Wales to pursue a professional rugby career. He commented that, “everyone I grew up with played rugby and we were all friends just having a really good time. We all had the dream of becoming a professional rugby player and I knew that I had to really commit if it was going to happen for me which is why I decided to move back to Wales. I’ve always considered myself Welsh despite growing up in Singapore”.

When asked about their favourite sporting achievements to date, both had several to choose from. Jones, who was the GB Champion in Judo before dedicating his time to rugby, recalled when he won the Judo British Championships at 15 years old. He said, “it was just a fantastic moment because it felt like 9 years of hard work had been paid off in one competition”.

Devine recalled the moment he represented Wales at the Hong Kong 7s. He recalled “whilst growing up in Singapore I would watch the Hong Kong 7s every year with my friends. I remember running out onto the pitch and seeing the stadium absolutely packed, it was insane. I couldn’t believe the atmosphere; I could barely hear my teammates”.

Jones and Devine are highly talented athletes who understand the importance of continuing their education alongside sport. Both are studying at Durham University, Jones is focused on obtaining his master’s degree in Human Physiology whilst Devine is in year 3 of his Undergraduate degree in Business and Management.

The two want to emphasis the importance of education to the pupils that they are coaching. Will advised, “it really is about the small things you do that help you achieve your goals. I always thought that doing an extra half an hour work every night would put me a step closer to where I want to be. Whilst it’s challenging, I would say try not to solely prioritise sport because you don’t want to put all of your eggs in one basket. Having just one focus can often drain you, so being able to turn your attention on study is really important - it stimulates your mind”.

So far, the Welsh stars are enjoying life at Durham School, they both commented on the beautiful grounds and how closely situated the school is to the city centre. However, the thing they’ve found most impressive is the pupils they’re coaching. Devine said, “the pupils I’ve coached so far are really great and are so passionate about succeeding, both in sport and in their academic studies”.

The pair agreed that the Durham School coaching staff have been supportive.

“They understand the need for us to balance our academic and sports life alongside coaching. They’re really flexible and have been extremely welcoming” said Jones.

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