Wales Students appoint new backroom staff

Wales Students’ head coach Craig Fisher has appointed Peter Eccles as his assistant coach and Doug Owen as the Strength and Conditioning Coach.

They will take their position alongside their current roles, and will be heavily involved as Wales Students recruit for next year’s Four Nations competition.

Eccles, who has worked with Wales before, assisting Wales U16s, has spent this season at Rochdale Hornets as their assistant coach. He has previously been head coach of Thatto Heath Crusaders’ U18s, Wigan St Judes U18, BARLA Lancashire under-17s and was a former Wigan Warriors Community Coach of the Year.

Owen is a former coach developer at the Rugby Football League, working there throughout the 2018 and 2019 seasons. He is currently the S&C Coach and Head of Youth Development at Swinton Lions as well as lecturing at Bury College.

Fisher said: “The addition of Pete and Doug to the Wales Students’ coaching staff was for me born through both necessity and my desire to make the Students set up as professionally run as possible going into and during the 2024 campaign.

“In terms of value, Pete’s CV as a coach speak for itself. He’s added value and created a successful environment wherever he’s been, winning countless titles at League, county and national level. I’m lucky to be working with Pete at Hornets now and even more lucky to have him as part of the coaching set up at Wales. I genuinely consider Pete to be one of if not the best development coach in the country.

“We missed out on the opportunity to add someone last year to work solely on our S&C with the Students, as well as provide a great eye for detail which we will need going forward. No one I know exhibits that eye for detail as well as a tremendous knowledge and passion for the game more than Doug Owen. I’ve known Doug for the best part of a decade and have been anxious to work with him again since our time working together at Wigan Warriors where Doug was a highly respected and beloved coach.

“Also with retaining Jon Burgess as an Assistant Coach, Lee Irvine as Team Manager and the indispensable Kathryn Deverson as Head of Medical Support, we are now equipped to ensure our programme runs more efficiently and successfully in 2024.”

If you want to play for Wales Students in the 2023-24 season, please register online.