Street goes back to rugby roots

Club visit for international delegation.

Gary Street, the head coach of England’s Women’s Rugby World Cup winning side, will be returning to his rugby roots on Saturday January 17th. Street played all his club rugby for north Birmingham side Aston OE having joined them from the nearby King Edward VI School in Aston and will be back at his former club to run a women’s pitch-up-and-play session along with Graham Smith, the England Women’s assistant coach.

Smith, who hails from Wolverhampton, played for Moseley and Scotland A before he became a Rugby Football Union Youth Development Officer for North Midlands. The pair have since forged successful careers in coaching, culminating in England’s Women’s Rugby World Cup final victory over Canada in Paris in August.

Street has since won a number of coaching awards including Coach of the Year and High Performance Coach of the Year at the 2014 UK Coaching Awards. Street and Smith will be joined by England prop Laura Keates, a member of the World Cup squad, at Aston OE’s Perry Common ground for Saturday’s session which will include coaching followed by matches.

The session, which will run from 11am to 1pm, is open to all female players over 18. Players intending to attend the session are asked to confirm with Sam Clay at peachy566@googlemail.com in advance. The Women’s Rugby World Cup trophy won by England will also be on display at Aston OE.

Hana Schlangerova- head of Czech Rugby’s women’s committee, will also be present at Aston as part of a fact-finding visit to North Midlands and Staffordshire. The visit by a delegation from Czech Rugby forms part of part of the RFU’s Unity Project a ground-breaking initiative in partnership with the International Rugby Board, FIRA-AER and UK Sport aimed at growing rugby in 17 European nations ahead of this year’s Rugby World Cup.

The Unity Project forms part of the legacy plans being implemented by the RFU and falls under the wider work of the IRB’s RWC 2015 rugby legacy programme, IMPACT beyond 2015. The IRB and FIRA-AER selected the 17 countries for the RFU and its Constituent Bodies to work with over the next three years, with the project formally due to finish in June 2016.

North Midlands and Staffordshire have been twinned with the Czech Republic and this weekend’s visit is reciprocal trip to the one made by representatives of the two Midlands CBs to Prague last summer.