New coaches to unearth Cornish talent
By Mark Stevens
Exeter Chiefs have added two new faces to their coaching ranks helping to nurture young rugby talent from Cornwall.
Louie Tonkin and Richard Phillips started this week in their roles as full-time DPP Academy coaches based out of Truro College.
The duo will form part of the club's academy coaching network, whose initial task it is to identify and develop young players, after which the long-term goal is for them to break into the professional ranks at the Gallagher Premiership Club.
Both men, however, arrive in the Duchy with a wealth of coaching experience already behind them.
Louie - who grew up in Cornwall - has previously coached in the Welsh Premiership at Carmarthen Quins and Pontypool. He was also Director of Rugby at Cardiff University, before heading to the Middle East where he carried out a similar role with Bahrain Rugby.
Richard, meanwhile, got his first introduction into senior coaching through Premiership Rugby, working with the Try Rugby programme in Brazil. On his return to the UK, he worked with the Sale Sharks community team before then switching to their DPP programme, where he has spent the past five years helping identify young talent within the North West.
Richard has also helped coach the University of Manchester, Lancashire Under-15s and 16s, as well as performing the role of head coach at Trafford Metrovicks.
In welcoming both men to the club, Chiefs Academy Manager, Rob Gibson, said: "We are delighted to have both Louie and Richard on board. Both men come to us with proven coaching CVs and I've no doubt that will be great additions to our teams.
"Cornwall, we know, has a history of producing international quality rugby players and our aim using guys like Louie and Richard is to make sure we continue to unearth the talent that clearly exists within the county."
Louie added: "It's fantastic for me to be joining a club of the stature of Exeter Chiefs. They have proven for a number of years now that they are amongst the leading teams, not just here in England, but European Rugby. For me, the chance to work within the environment of the club, helping to produce quality, homegrown talent was something that really appealed to me."
Richard continued: "Like Louie, I'm excited about working with the club and the challenges it is going to throw up. The Chiefs have a proven track record of bringing through local players and developing them right through to international rugby players, so I'm looking forward to being part of the set-up and doing my bit in bringing through that talent."