Munster Rugby was delighted to welcome All Blacks and Canterbury Crusaders Strength & Conditioning Coach Ashley Jones to Munster for two sessions with club and school coaches this week.
For the last three seasons, Australian born Jones has held the position with the Crusaders, and has been working with the All Black team for the last two seasons. Prior to that, he worked in Australia and Japan with some of the major basketball teams before progressing onto rugby league and then working with NSW Rugby.
With responsibilities that include devising the fitness and strength training schedule of world class players such as Richie McCaw and Daniel Carter, it was a fantastic opportunity to learn from one of the best in the game. Organised by Club Development Manager Damon Urlich, the opportunity to bring this expertise to the grassroots level in Munster has proved hugely beneficial for the domestic game.
Over 140 people attended the two seminars, with over 90 people attending in UL in Limerick, and over 50 people in Highfield RFC the next day. In Limerick, Jones put players from the Munster Rugby Academy though their paces in his demonstration, while in Cork, the students of Presentation Brothers College took part in the session.
Jones ran a 2 hour training session at each venue, which included active stretching, general movement, and warm up activities. He progressed to speed training drills, using assistance and resistance devices and also addressed how to promote decision making skills through anaerobic games and the development of rugby specific speed and power. The sessions concluded with questions from the floor.
For the enthusiastic crowd present, it offered a fantastic opportunity to learn from one of the sport s elite coaches, illustrating first hand different techniques and approaches to fitness and strength training.