Last week we took to social media to ask fans to submit questions for Jack Leech, Rugby Development Manager at Sharks Community Trust to answer. I sat down with him via the phone as he leads on the Sale Sharks Rugby Camps that are running this week at Winnington Park RFC and Lymm RUFC to find out more about how the Trust develops Rugby across the North West.

Congratulations Mr Leech, the longest serving Trust employee, how does it feel?

After a laugh; It is weird to be honest, with Darren moving over to the women, I am now the longest at the Trust, LinkedIn keeps me reminded of these landmark moments incase I forget! We’ve come a long way from the Portacabins outside old Carrington.

*We both reminisce about how life as a Shark was and how changing lives was plotted outside the players gym in a portacabin at the old Carrington site*

Jack Leech has worked at the Trust since 2014 and delivered on a range of community projects

The biggest change since then?

Growth, we’ve gone from 6 staff to 26 staff, changing lives has increased geographically along with who we deliver to and what we deliver. The amount of projects delivered and the impact they have is something we are all immensely proud of at the Club.

Also new job?

Yes! Big boots to follow. I am excited, the position has been left in remarkable shape, biggest year of camp attendees last year, most coaches and teachers worked with to deliver coach education workshops to make rugby better and more rugby development days than ever before. I am really excited about how we make than even bigger and better!

What will be your spin on the role?

Without hesitation; we will align and work closely with the Women’s squad.

This will be a real focus for the Trust over the coming years. If you look at some of the signings, what young aspiring female rugby player would not want to learn from them! If we look at the development of the Trusts’ Rugby Camp and Rugby Development Days over the last two or three years you will see we run these all over the North West in more locations, more often, to more young aspiring players who want to learn the Sharks DNA than ever before. These young players look at the path that the Curry twins and James brothers have taken to represent Sale Sharks and they get to learn tips of them at our Camps. I see a replication of this with the women and that is very exciting for the North West.

There is a real buzz surrounding the recent addition to the Sharks Family with the Women joining the Club.

Rugby Camps are back, how are those working?

Interesting! Followed by a laugh.

We have limited numbers, wristbands to keep bubbles together, have got very creative with games to ensure we keep the correct spacing and use a lot of sanitizer on a daily basis.


Talk me through some of these games.

We have introduced throwing a bib or using a swimming noodle to make ‘touches’ which have worked well and the kids are really enjoying be back with their friends, chucking a rugby ball around again in a safe environment. We are trying our best to resemble rugby as much as possible, working on the fundamentals that link directly to the Sharks DNA, lots of handling skills zones, kicking games, body shape and agility activities.

Can these adaptations influence the grassroots game?

Yes! Our role will be more increased than ever going forward, we will have more opportunities to influence how parents and coaches coach at grassroot rugby clubs. We will be looking to develop Coach Education to ensure that we just don’t see kids spending an hour twice a week running at their club. I would welcome anyone who wants to discuss the grassroots game more to give me an email to see if we can assist you.

You can email Jack on jack.leech@salesharks.com

Advice to coaches?

Stick the guidelines – follow what England Rugby and the Government have out there. Safety is a priority!

Keep it fun and enjoyable – they want to see their friends; they will talk more than before but that is ok

Don’t do fitness – include that within the session in activities

Be creative – think outside the box, use what is in front of you and get the kids to come up with ideas, rules or games

With that we wrap up discussing Grassroots Rugby with Jack Leech. It is fair to say that how we play Rugby in the interim has changed and the Trust coaches are getting creative to develop camp attendees’ skills whilst ensuring everyone is kept safe.

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