The Scarlets have named Robin McBryde as their new forwards coach at Parc y Scarlets for the 2010/2011 season.
The 37-times capped hooker and British Lion who has been forwards coach with Wales for the past four years, now gets his much-desired first coaching opportunity with senior regional rugby at the Scarlets.
The North Walian and popular former Scarlets captain first appeared for the region as a player in 1994 and clocked up 250 games for Llanelli and the Scarlets. He has retained close links with the region since moving to coach at international level.
He was first appointed to the national squad as Wales’ forwards coach in 2006 under Gareth Jenkins and has continued in that role with Warren Gatland – taking responsibility as Wales’ acting Head Coach for the international tour to North America and Canada in summer 2009.
McBryde also assisted coaching of the U18 Scarlets Academy in the 2005-2006 season bringing through some of the region’s exciting first team talent including players like Josh Turnbull and Jon Davies.
His role as forwards coach for the Scarlets next season which will see him work full-time at Parc y Scarlets under Head Coach Nigel Davies from August 1st2010, expect during Wales’ international campaigns for the Autumn series, the Six Nations and summer preparations for the 2011 World Cup.
McBryde said of his new role with the Scarlets: "I am very grateful for this opportunity and to have more of a 'hands on' role when I'm not involved with Wales, which should benefit my own personal development as a coach, and in turn benefit the players that I coach.
He added: “Obviously, it’s always good to work with people that you know, and my knowledge of the Scarlets and what this region stands for will help. But equally, it gives me a great opportunity to take a step forward in my career. I haven’t coached at senior regional level and it will present me with different demands and challenges. I’m here to bring as much as I can, but equally to learn.”
On working with the Scarlets squad this season, McBryde said: “There’s definitely a good blend of youth and top-level international experience across the squad. I was fortunate to be part of the Scarlets coaching set-up for the U18s and saw players like Jon Davies and Josh Turnbull coming through and it’s good to see how quickly they have progressed and developed to become part of the Scarlets senior squad.
“There’s lots of potential here – it is a youngish side and as yet we don’t know how far it can go. But what we have to do as coaches is make sure these players fulfill their potential and I’m looking forward to working with them.”
Scarlets Head Coach Nigel Davies said: “Robin brings a wealth of experience from international rugby. It’s at the top end of the game where you get challenged the most and his recent experience of the big games when you have to push the boundaries, will be great for us to draw from and for the players to have exposure to.
“He’ll be a focused and positive influence within our coaching set-up and I’m sure will bring plenty of fresh ideas and energy to our group.
“Equally, he’s keen to learn more from coaching at regional level and will benefit from his time with us to broaden his coaching skills and experience. I think the fact he’s involved in two set-ups will energise him and is positive for both us and Wales.
“Having high calibre professionals in our coaching set-up is important, as is the desire to drive this squad forward, achieve goals and have a winning mentality. Robin has all of these attributes and has shown great loyalty and commitment to Llanelli over a long period as a player. He has worked with a number of our players recently and his connection and understanding of this region and what it is to be a Scarlet, means he’ll hit the ground running.”
Robin McBryde remains an employee of the Welsh Rugby Union, seconded to the region and funded by the Scarlets at all times when operating within their system. The arrangement has the full approval of all four Regions and has been brokered in conjunction with Regional Rugby Wales.