CHRIS KIRWAN SAYS: Coombs proves worth of club rugby

South Wales Argus: FROM CLUB TO COUNTRY: Andrew Coombs FROM CLUB TO COUNTRY: Andrew Coombs

THE success story of Andrew Coombs is another timely reminder of the importance of club rugby.

It was a remarkable tale when Lloyd Burns went from bricklaying captain at Cross Keys to Wales hooker at the World Cup.

Less than two years later the trick has been repeated with Coombs going from a computer software salesman skippering Newport to being the pick of the pack in a Six Nations opener.

Why shouldn’t there be more? What’s to stop Dragons flanker Darren Waters pushing into the fray or Cross Keys hooker Gerwyn Price catching the eye with Glasgow?

The success stories should encourage the regions to give more players a go and for the national coaches to ignore a player’s background when picking a squad.

The Academies are important but there are other ways to the top and the clubs on a player’s CV don’t necessarily make them a better player.

Last week Cardiff Blues signed Liam Davies, allowing the scrum-half to complete a Tal Selley Grand Slam of the regions.

There will have been many players in the Premiership raising an eyebrow at that deal.

Sometimes there is better talent out there than the usual suspects.

Comments (1)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

4:52pm Thu 7 Feb 13

Dai the Milk says...

Hang on a minute. Doesn't the WRU have a 'Talent Identification System' by which they claim they can identify talent by the time players reach 16 at the latest? What does that say about our 'coaching' set-up then? How did Andrew Coombes and Lloyd Burns slip through the net? In the case of Lloyd Burns it took a stint in Oz and the astute vision of Alec Evans to identify his potential as an international hooker......not the 'Talent Identification System' of the WRU coaches. Then what about Andrew Coombes? Another Pontypool product, like Burns? A 100% player like Burns. How could these slip through the net and only get picked up in the twilight of their career? I'll tell you how. Because our system is not geared to identifying talent at the right stage of their life. How many schoolboy or academy internationals make it to the top? Instead it is usually down to the individual players' hard graft and motivation. What's more, why was the WRU hell bent on destroying the breeding grounds of future internationals? Places like Pontypridd, Pontypool, Bridgend and Maesteg?
Why have they replaced that system which stood the test of time with these plastic, soulless set-ups which nobody wants to go and support? Really wonderful business acumen. Not.
Hang on a minute. Doesn't the WRU have a 'Talent Identification System' by which they claim they can identify talent by the time players reach 16 at the latest? What does that say about our 'coaching' set-up then? How did Andrew Coombes and Lloyd Burns slip through the net? In the case of Lloyd Burns it took a stint in Oz and the astute vision of Alec Evans to identify his potential as an international hooker......not the 'Talent Identification System' of the WRU coaches. Then what about Andrew Coombes? Another Pontypool product, like Burns? A 100% player like Burns. How could these slip through the net and only get picked up in the twilight of their career? I'll tell you how. Because our system is not geared to identifying talent at the right stage of their life. How many schoolboy or academy internationals make it to the top? Instead it is usually down to the individual players' hard graft and motivation. What's more, why was the WRU hell bent on destroying the breeding grounds of future internationals? Places like Pontypridd, Pontypool, Bridgend and Maesteg? Why have they replaced that system which stood the test of time with these plastic, soulless set-ups which nobody wants to go and support? Really wonderful business acumen. Not. Dai the Milk

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

Get Adobe Flash player
About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree