THIS year’s rugby coaching camp on the Isle of Wight, run by the London Irish club over half-term last week, was one of the most well-attended yet.

London Irish, no strangers to running camps for young Islanders, stretching back almost 15 years, ran a two-day event at the IWRFC at Wootton Recreation Ground.

Isle of Wight County Press:

Action from the London Irish Training Camp at Wootton last week. Photo: Andrew Cooper

This year’s event attracted more than 70, aged seven to 16 years, with the London Irish community team treating them to top-class coaching in the art of ball handling, footwork and decision making, as well as the game’s core values.

Every participant received a certificate, with coaches giving them constructive feedback on their progression at the camp.

Isle of Wight County Press:

Youngsters getting some key tips from a London Irish coach.  Photo: Andrew Cooper

Vectis club chairman, Emma Douglass, said: “It was an excellent opportunity for children to improve their skills and make friends. It was fantastic to see so many enjoy the game of rugby.

“We hope those who are not yet Vectis players will join our training sessions for boys and girls, from age six up to 18.”

Isle of Wight County Press:

Over 70 children took part in the London Irish training camps at Wootton during half term.  Photo: Andrew Cooper.

Isle of Wight club chairman, Ollie Boulter, said every child, including his son, benefited from the high quality coaching on offer.

London Irish also coached the IW’s senior teams and trained Island club and school rugby coaches.

Andy Keast, a British and Irish Lions coach during the 1997 South Africa tour, focussed on line-out technique and defence, as well as decision-making with the backs.

Keast said: “Players and coaches were all eager to learn. We aim to return next year.”