St John’s Players Coached by All Blacks
On Friday 2 November, 25 St John’s rugby players had the opportunity of a lifetime to train at the Twickenham Stoop Stadium, home of Harlequins, with three New Zealand All Blacks. The pupils had the chance to hear first-hand from All Blacks Nepo Laulala (14 tests), Codie Taylor (39 tests) and Joe Moody (37 tests), alongside Harlequins players James Horwill (62 tests for Australia) and Gabriel Ibitoye (17 U20 Caps for England).
The players were offered the opportunity based on their continued commitment and dedication to St John’s rugby and were treated to a series of game based activities focusing on key areas such as decision making, body position at the point of contact and turnover gameplay in both attack and defence. Each activity was run by a member of the Quins and All Blacks squad, which allowed the boys to gain a great insight into the thought process of different players from different teams.
The value of this form of training session cannot be understated, with the boys being led by such inspiring rugby players who were all humble despite being world class players.
Mr Newby, Director of Rugby said: This gave the boys an opportunity to learn from both exceptional rugby players and good role models. I am sure they all gained a huge amount from the experience. I would like to say a huge thank you to the All Black and Harlequins players, staff and coaches involved – it was a special day for our boys.”