Duke of York's Royal Military School

'Dare to be great!'

Published on isbi School News dated Tuesday 9th of September 2014

St Benedict's School, Ealing has a new Director of Rugby. James Coles took up the post at the start of September taking over from Geoff Richards, who has retired to Australia. Coles joins St Benedict's from the other side of Southern England, having been the Development Coach for Championship club Cornish Pirates since June 2013.

James Coles is West Country born and bred. He grew up in Cornwall and was educated at Queen's College, Taunton (Somerset) and then studied Exercise and Sports Science at St Luke's, University of Exeter (Devon). He then spent five years at Premiership rugby club Saracens in a wide-ranging role which included working with Academy and EPDG (Elite Player Development Group) athletes, Club and School rugby development, Social Inclusion programmes (specifically within Feltham Prison) and Teacher/Coach Education. He lists the highlights as working with clubs/schools in Malaysia, Singapore, Brazil, Kuwait and across Europe and also the sessions with Prince Harry on the beaches of Rio de Janeiro, when Coles was working on social inclusion programmes in Rio on behalf of Premiership Rugby ahead of the London Olympics.

Coles left Saracens in 2013 to take up the role of Rugby Development Officer for the RFU in Hertfordshire. Here he focused on developing rugby at all ages and abilities across clubs in Hertfordshire before joining Cornish Pirates. So, why move back to London? Coles explains: 'I wanted to be closer to the action, especially with the Rugby World Cup being hosted by England and Wales in 2015. I love Cornwall but it was a good time for a new challenge.'

James Coles has a wide and varied sport development background and he has huge experience in coaching children at sport, specifically focusing on rugby. His first task at St Benedict's will be to build on the success of previous years and he has his own core values which he will be instilling into his charges: Energy, Courage and Work Rate combining to allow players to 'Dare to be great'. It's a tremendous vision and St Benedict's is hoping it will take Rugby at the school to new and higher levels.

'Dare to be great!' - Photo 1
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