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Easterby: Young coaches need time

Guinness PRO12 Editor

1 Nov 2012


Scarlets’ Simon Easterby insists that young coaches at Welsh regions need to be given time at their clubs in order to be successful.

Easterby, 37, took over as head coach in Llanelli this summer following the departure of 47-year-old Nigel Davies to Gloucester.

And the former Ireland international has enjoyed a successful first foray in management, claiming five wins from his side’s first seven RaboDirect Pro12 clashes.

Meanwhile, 32-year-old Steve Tandy is in his first full season at the helm with the Ospreys, having led them to victory in last season’s RaboDirect Pro12 grand final.

And Easterby hopes the trust in young aspiring coaches continues, although success might not be as immediate as Tandy’s was.

"The Ospreys and the Scarlets have shown faith in young coaching groups and hopefully that will pay off in the future," said Easterby.

"I'm not saying it's going to happen overnight or that we’re going to win European Cups for the next three or four years.

"But I think Steve showed it last year. He took over from Scott Johnson and made his mark by winning the Pro12 – that was a great statement and a great positive for young coaching.

"There are always going to be question marks over our experience, myself and Steve in particular as head coaches.

"But unless we get this opportunity we can't get that experience, you’ve got to balance that up."

And Easterby hopes the Welsh Rugby Union will help the regions keep their best players in Wales for the benefit of the game at both international and regional level.

"We want to keep the likes of George North in Wales, we want to keep Jon Davies in Wales," added Easterby.

"Hopefully the Union see that the way forward is to try and keep these players playing in Wales for the benefit of the national team and the regional game.

"What they can earn in France is astronomical and they can be life-changing sums of money, but hopefully they can also be well compensated by playing in Wales.

"Wales doesn't have many top quality players and we need to keep hold of the best we can to play in the regions to make them as strong as possible, otherwise we are going to struggle to compete against the best.

"We have to be realistic that we are not going to compete financially with teams but it doesn't mean we can't compete with them on the playing pitch.

"It's probably that consistency and keeping the squad together that's important."