THE Welsh Rugby Union has appointed an assistant coach (forwards) and a skills coach to the Wales Women programme and a nutritionist for the Wales Women and male pathway programmes.
Mike Hill has been appointed as Wales Women assistant coach, George Morgan joins as nutritionist and Adam Thomas has joined as skills coach on a part-time basis.
WRU Performance Director Nigel Walker said: “I am delighted to welcome Mike, George and Adam to the WRU and look forward to seeing the positive impact they will have on the women’s programme.
“It is a very exciting time for women’s rugby in Wales with the magnificent performance and result last Saturday building on the progress made on and off the field over the last 6 months.”
Hill joins the Welsh Rugby Union from Bath Rugby where he was senior academy coach and headed up the Bath University rugby programme. He previously worked with Worcester Warriors male and female teams.
Wales head coach Ioan Cunningham said: “Mike has a wealth of experience in the male and female game. He has the technical and tactical knowledge and coaching ability to deliver key scrum and line-out detail in order to help us continue to make further improvements within our programme.
Mike Hill said: “This is an opportunity I couldn’t turn down at this point in time with the programme really going places.
“I worked with Worcester Warriors women for two years, a role I really enjoyed. I got to know the players, saw how dedicated they were. It’s exciting to work with the calibre of players we have in this group and with the programme being full-time around the squad and contracted players, we can make a big impact.
“With the Women’s Six Nations and then the world cup later in the year, these are two of the biggest competitions I’ve been involved in. I’ve coached some of the players before and I’ve watched recent club games and the autumn internationals.
“Their potential is clear to see and I hope to continue the work Geraint Lewis did before me. The set-piece is a strong point. There is expectation there but also the knowledge from the players that we can provide a quality platform for the team.”
George Morgan has been appointed as WRU women’s and pathway nutritionist Morgan, who has spent a decade at Saracens Rugby said: “The Welsh Rugby Union has set out to create the best-supported programme in world rugby which is hugely exciting.
“There couldn’t be more excitement than women’s sport is experiencing at the moment, it’s a huge honour to be part of it.
“Along with the women’s programme, I’ll be assisting some of our younger male prospects within the Under 20 and U18 programmes to reach their full potential.
“I’ve really enjoyed being part of Saracens Rugby but it felt like the right time to give something else a go.
“Nutrition is the underpinning of physical performance work, providing the fuel for players to go and perform. Without the right nutrition, something inside a player’s control could impact optimum performance in a big game.
“It’s a massive year for the women’s programme. The potential to make a positive impact into the wider programme is huge, in conjunction with other areas.”
Adam Thomas has joined the Wales Women programme as part-time skills coach. The former Wales Sevens international said: “I’m very keen to progress my coaching experience having been involved with the male regional age grade programme over the last season or so. I’ve got aspirations to be a full-time coach one day so when Ioan asked me to get involved, I grabbed the opportunity with both hands.
“Skills are key to sevens which is my background, from basic skills to the contact area so this role allows me to add my stamp. I did a couple of sessions with the girls a couple of years ago and their progress since then is clear to see. They are in a really good place and I’m keen to support them wherever I can.”
Ioan Cunningham added: “Adam is a brilliant addition to our coaching team. He is already making a difference in terms of the breakdown and contact skills. His sevens experience as a player is key to that – both in terms of our back field players and the rest of the team.”