Grassroots-focused conference programme announced for Rugby Expo 2018

Rugby Expo will deliver a packed programme of interactive coaching sessions and panel discussions addressing issues affecting community rugby

Rugby Expo has confirmed the grassroots-focused conference programme for the 2018 event, taking place on Wednesday 18 April at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry.

Delivered in partnership with the RFU, the programme will run alongside a busy exhibition floor and will combine practical sessions with main stage panel discussions and open Q&A sessions to address, discuss and debate many of the key issues impacting community rugby.

The community rugby event will run from 15:30 – 21:00 on Wednesday 18 April at the Ricoh Arena and will be free to attend for anyone connected with an RFU, SRU, WRU or RFL affiliated community club. Attendees will also receive two free tickets to Wasps’ final home game of the season vs Northampton Saints.

New for Rugby Expo for 2018, a 102m² interactive zone will host coaching-led content from experts in the game, designed to provide attendees with practical advice and information to take back to their clubs.

These include:

INTERACTIVE SESSION: How CARDS is shaping England’s next generation

Creativity, Awareness, Resilience, Decision making and Self-organisation (CARDS) are the priority skills helping to develop the next generation of England Rugby players and in this session, England U18s Performance Manager John Fletcher and U18s International Performance Coach Peter Walton will demonstrate how these are implemented to help boost player performance both on and off the pitch.

INTERACTIVE SESSION: XRugby: a new format of the game

Recently sanctioned by World Rugby, XRugby is a new form of the sport set to be launched in England this year. In this session, RFU Touch Operations Manager Ed Curran and Sevens Project Manager Dom Tripp will demonstrate the differences from the traditional game and showcase coaching methods and exercises to help introduce XRugby at any age.

Alongside the interactive sessions, the event will play host to senior figures from the professional and development pathways on the main stage:

Open Q&A with the RFU

This is the chance to have your say and get answers from those at the top of the game. Senior figures from the sport’s national governing body including Head of International Performance (Mens) Dean Ryan, Head of Sports Science and Medicine Mark Bennett and Head of Rugby Growth Ben Lowe take to the stage to answer your questions.

Womens rugby: getting more females playing more often

England has experienced significant growth in the women’s game and the RFU has set ambitious targets to grow the number of women and girls engaging in the sport. In this panel discussion led by former England International Catherine Spencer, the RFU’s Head of Performance (Womens) Nicky Ponsford will be joined by Player Pathways Manager Martin MacTaggart and Women & Girls Growth Manager Clare Cooper to outline the pathway, discuss strategies and highlight what clubs can be doing to boost female participation.

The packed schedule will also feature a session on the RFU’s Activate Injury Prevention Exercise Programme, as well as an interactive coaching session led by former player turned coach Dan Cottrell plus practical demonstrations from exhibitors.

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