Wallaby hardman heads to Armidale

JANUARY’S annual UNE Rugby Camp attracts big names every year and it doesn’t get any bigger than former Wallaby  hard hitter Nathan Grey.

The former NSW Waratahs and Wallaby  centre confirmed this week he would be attending the New England Mutual National Rugby Camp.

The camp is backed by the NSW Waratahs and the ARU, and every year it produces some big names and top coaches.

Recent Waratah players to attend have included Paddy Ryan, Pat McCutcheon and Benn Robinson, as well as Australian Sevens coach and dual international Michael O’Connor.

Grey was the skills and defensive coach for the Melbourne Rebels since the team’s inception into Super 15 rugby in 2011.

Recently he has signed a contract with his old club, the NSW Waratahs, to be an assistant coach (defensive coach) for 2014.

A hard hitter in attack and textbook one-on-one tackling machine in defence, a generation of budding rugby stars based their technique on Grey’s in the 1990s.

Now in its 14th year under co-ordinator Paul Schmude, the camp has signed up more than 250 participants for 2014.

“It is great to have the assistant Waratahs coach here for the camp,”  Schmude said.

“He will be here getting his hands dirty with the kids and also helping out with the coaches.”

This year the camp has some juniors coming from as far away as Darwin and even a group of five from Auckland.

Once again the camp is split into two sections.

Tri Rugby is for children aged eight to 10 years and will run January 14 and 15.

The main camp is for players aged 11-16 years old and will run from Sunday, January 12  through until Thursday, January 16.

Participants can choose whether to stay overnight at the camps or come and go each day.

All aspects of rugby union are covered at the camps by more than 25 coaches, including some high-performance techniques and roles. 

“There will also be several current Waratah players attending, although we are yet to confirm exactly who they will be,” Schmude said.

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