Sat 10 Aug 2019 11:22

Upper Eden Rugby Club has appointed highly rated South African Troy Lee as head coach.

A World Rugby qualified coach, Lee has been involved in the sport over many years as a player, coach, director of rugby, committee member and founder/operations director of numerous rugby academies, the latest being the Western Province Rugby Academy in Cape Town.

He completed the International Rugby Academy of New Zealand high performance coach’s course in 2011 to add to his World Rugby coaching qualifications, and has has coached an array of South African Super League clubs, such as Hamiltons, Villagers, SK Walmers and False Bay.

He has been involved with the South African Rugby Union Academies Invitational XV, Georgian under-20 international team, and Germany and Ireland sevens teams.

He also working alongside director Clint Eastwood on the rugby-based film Invictus, which he said was one of the highlights of his career and one which he will always always cherish.

Lee brings with him a varied set of skills, with a key focus on collision and set piece dominance and continuity. He says that creating a “high performance” player environment is crucial to his successes as a coach.

Neil Marston, chairman of rugby at Upper Eden, whose first team play in the Cumbria League, said: “We are extremely delighted to engage Troy as head coach. He has an excellent playing and coaching pedigree and, equally, is a true gentleman.

“We have a very young crop of players and are looking forward to Troy developing them. We hope to learn from his experience and implement improvements both on and off the pitch to enhance the player experience throughout the club.”

Gary Gold, USA men’s XV head coach, who has known Lee for more than 20 years, said: “Troy has built up a significant reputation by being involved at coaching in all aspects of the top level at the club game in Cape Town.

He was involved in the coaching set-up that won the league in 2010 for Hamilton’s RFC, the oldest club in South Africa.

“Troy has been involved in the inauguration of W. P. Academy that was started by himself and a partner with the specific goal of the personal development of age grade players. These players are recruited from some of the very best rugby schools in the country, and they received personal development and skills training needed to be a professional rugby player. The amount of players the W. P. Acad-emy has produced who have gone on to be full-time professionals is phenomenal.

“I have absolutely no doubt that these players richly enjoyed their success because of the time and effort put in by Troy and his coaches. Troy is an incredibly passionate person and coaching rugby is his calling.”

By courtesy of Cumberland and Westmorland Herald

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