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Rugby evening with Craig Newby in aid of Coleraine Grammar Sport Fund

As part of the Sports Fundraising Appeal Information Evenings programme, Coleraine Grammar School recently had the privilege of having Ulster Rugby Skills Coach, Craig Newby, visit school and regale the assembled group with stories from his rugby career.

He told everyone about his time playing for the All Blacks, his memories as a schoolboy, club rugby, his experience of coaching all around the world, and his aspirations for the future.

Newby has recently extended his contract at Ulster as Skills Coach until 2024 and stated that being appointed to Ulster Rugby has been one of his career highlights.

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His honest and humorous talk included advice for players and coaches of Coleraine Grammar School alike as he told them all about his philosophy for the game.

Craig Newby

Newby encouraged the players to keep training year after year and advised “the most important skills for a young rugby player are tackle technique, pass and catch”.

He went on to explain how over his playing career he has had to face many adversities due to injury or missed selection.

Craig was able to inspire the CGS young players, many of whom have already faced such adversities, on how to deal with these setbacks and explained how to keep positive and the importance of resilience as all players of all ages and abilities will face similar issues at some stage in their playing career.

He explained how challenging it was for him trying to get selected for the New Zealand All Blacks when one of the best rugby players of all time, Richie McCaw, was also trialing for the same position.

Craig Newby meets some Grammar pupils

Timing can be everything.

However, he was lucky enough to play with Jonah Lomu and he still recalls him as being one of the best players he ever played with, however when it came to his inspiration in life and rugby it was his dad who holds that accolade.

His dad’s humble hardworking farming background shaped his son’s personality which has had the most lasting and positive influence on his life.

Mr Boyd, CGS Head of Sport, lead a few questions from the floor as Craig gave the boys and parents the time to ask many interesting questions giving an insight into his successful rugby playing career before deciding to become a coach.

Craig Newby with Mr Boyd

The night was also used to highlight the Sports Appeal with headmaster Dr Carruthers and the bursar giving more details about the transformational change and the sports vision for the school over the coming years.

A spokesperson for the school said: “With the new multi-million-pound school buildings, recent sports provision upgrades, the planned hockey Astroturf pitch and other planned sports upgrades using the Sports Appeal funds, Coleraine Grammar will be one of the premier grammar schools in Northern Ireland.

“Coleraine Grammar school is very grateful for Craig’s time and wise words.

“He was truly an inspirational speaker and, at the end of the evenin,g he also took time to pose for photos with his young fans.”

Coleraine Grammar School pupils meeting Craig Newby