Wildcats Head of Youth Development, Tony Drury, has today begun his role as stand-in Head Coach of the England Youth squad for their ten day camp.
Drury will head up the coaching team for the camp that will include test matches against both France and Wales after regular Head Coach Dave Elliot withdrew from the camp for personal reasons.
The Youth side will renew their traditional Easter rivalry with France when they travel across the channel for a two-test series which begins on Friday April 6, with the second test to be played on Tuesday April 10 while a second Youth side will take on Wales on Wednesday April 4.
It is testament to the work Drury has done with the Wildcats youth programme that he has been selected to step up into the role, with the Wildcats just one of five clubs to be awarded green status for their youth setup at the last round of license applications.
Drury was Assistant Coach with the England Youth squad last year and was due to fulfil the same role for this camp. His coaching career has seen him coach service area sides and Yorkshire under 18’s amongst others, as well as being part of the Wildcats setup for four years and coaching the 2009 under 18’s title winning team.
Drury is currently undertaking his Level 4 UKCC (United Kingdom Coaching Certificate) at the University of Central Lancashire, a course currently also being undertaken by Wildcats Head Coach Richard Agar, with Drury one of only fifteen coaches on the course.
“It’s nice to get the responsibility and the backing of the RFL to head it up and it’s an opportunity you don’t want to miss,” said Drury ahead of leaving for the camp.
“I wish it could have been in different circumstances that had allowed me to step in but you’ve got to take your opportunities whilst they’re there and hopefully do a good job and go from there.
“I’m looking forward to working with a different level of player and looking at their attitudes and their commitment, then compare them with our players at this club and benchmark them against the England players.
“It’s good to work with different coaching staff as well and being abroad to see how they play.
“It’s all great experiences as building blocks that you can hopefully take on board. Nobody ever knows everything and it’s just putting more tools in your toolbox moving forward.
“Hopefully I can do a reasonable job and results apart, if most of these players push through to Super League then you’ve done your job as a development coach.”
Wildcats youngster Kieran Holt is part of the England Youth squad for the camp and has been named in the squad for the test against Wales, with CEO James Elston delighted with the involvement of both in the England setup.
“It’s a great honour for Tony and also Kieran to be involved at England level and it’s a testament to the sort of people we have at our club.
“Our youth development programme is one held in extremely high regard across the game and one we’re always striving to improve and develop through such initiatives as Club 1873 which are allowing us to do that.
“On behalf of the club we hope Tony, Kieran and all the players and staff involved with the England camp have a successful ten days.”
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