Scorpions help Welsh Universities
South Wales Scorpions’ new full-back Rodney Peake has joined his two of his team-mate in coaching a local university side in Wales.
Peake made his Scorpions debut last Sunday in the 36-all draw against Oldham Roughyeds at The Gnoll in Neath but now, as coaching advisor to Aberystwyth University’s Rugby League side he will be competing against hooker Steve Parry and perhaps loose forward Phil Carleton in the BUCS Student Rugby League play-offs.
Parry has been head coach of the Glamorgan side, whose second team come up against Peake’s Aberystwyth outfit this week, while Carleton has spent the winter overseeing both sides from the Cardiff-based UWIC university.
The Australian-born Peake, who now lives in Aberystwyth, has turned out for Penrith Panthers and Manly Sea Eagles at junior levels and also made appearances for Celtic Crusaders when in Wales with his Welsh-born partner in 2008.
David Rogers, President of Aberystwyth University Rugby League, said: “The club is very excited to develop the coaching partnership with Rod, with next seasons BUCS Wales and West League preparations in full swing.
“During last Wednesday’s training session taken by Rod, the team learned manipulation techniques in and around the tackle area as well as utilising the possession in the first phases of an attacking set.
“Rod's coaching has given the players a boost in enthusiasm and a valuable opportunity to develop their skills, which will be crucial with the Last 16 BUCS Plate Fixture against Glamorgan 'A' taking place this Wednesday.”
Peake is delighted to be helping out the Aberystwyth team and says that there is more that he can do in the future to help boost Rugby League in the area.
“I had a meeting with Wales Rugby League President Mike Nicholas and he said that there were opportunities to do some coaching up here,” Peake said. “I took that on board and had a meeting with him and David Rogers and I was keen to get on board and help out.
“I’ve had the one coaching session and it was very promising. The boys were very enthusiastic. You can see that a lot of the boys come from a rugby union background but the fundamental skills are definitely there. It puts them in good stead for this Wednesday’s cup match against Glamorgan seconds.
“I know that there is more I can do in the area too. Our coach Dave Clark is putting me in touch with Mark Jones from Wales Rugby League to see what I can do to help Rugby League in the area. Any opportunity to expand the game is great and I think there’s a bit of a gap in Aberystwyth as I’ve spoken to a few of the schools locally and there doesn’t seem to be many sports programmes arranged there so I think there’s a bit of an opportunity for Rugby League to expand soon into Mid-Wales.”
Peake is disappointed that his team-mate Steve Parry won’t be on the side-lines facing him on Wednesday.
“I’m disappointed that he’s not there,” laughs Peake. “I would have loved to have come up against him but I realise he’ll be coaching the Glamorgan first team as they’ve got an important home cup match themselves.
“I know that Aberystwyth haven’t won many this season so the only way is up and I can’t wait for Wednesday.”
Scorpions’ coach Dave Clark said: “It’s wonderful to see Rodney getting involved in the community where he lives in Aberystwyth. We are doing a lot to increase our community programme at South Wales Scorpions and Rodney’s involvement in the area is an integral part of this.
“I’m delighted with the results of our community work so far. For the last month we’ve been working in schools in Neath promoting the Scorpions and that saw us see 849 people come through the gate, our highest crowd in two years.
“We won’t be forgetting those schools either. We’ll be writing to them soon offering them coaching courses and inviting them back to further matches this season.
“And with people like Nathan Mossop, Steve Parry and Phil Carleton to name just three, working hard in the community too, hopefully we’ll see a big increase in the knowledge and popularity of Rugby League in Wales throughout 2012.”
This week’s BUSC university knock-out cup fixtures are:
Aberystwyth v University of Glamorgan A
University of Glamorgan v University of Derby
University of Gloucestershire v UWIC
Admission to South Wales Scorpions next game which is against London Skolars this Sunday 26th February at The Gnoll in Neath, costs just £12 for adults, £7 concessions, £3 for children aged 12 and over and free for those aged 11 and under.