Simon Hardy is England Rugby Football Union’s specialist throwing coach.
His formidable track record of success highlights the significant role played by specialist coaches. Simon Hardy has been part of the coaching staff that saw England win a Six Nations Grand Slam Championship and a World Cup. Currently he is preparing with England for the upcoming Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.
During my own playing career I worked with Simon Hardy. It is during his specialist coaching sessions that the art of throwing is broken down into small manageable pieces. Physical, technical and mental aspects of throwing are handled individually and in great detail. The aim of the sessions are to equip the hooker with all the tools necessary to deliver accurate and consistent throwing during pressurized match situations. All too often taken for granted, lineout throwing is a specialist skill. It has been the downfall of many international hookers and the making of others.
Steve Thompson recently became England’s most capped hooker. For years Thompson and Simon Hardy worked together and for years Thompson’s throwing improved. Right up to his recent and very impressive Six Nations performances which saw him break the record for the number of caps for an England hooker. Steve Thompson highlighted the massive role Simon Hardy has played in his record breaking achievement by presenting Simon with his game jersey. Both Thompson and England are acutely aware of the importance of their specialist throwing coach.
Many world rugby teams are beginning to see the value of specialist coaches as part of their staff. Maintaing possession of the rugby ball is key to winning games. Therefore, ensuring you have a fully functional and effective lineout is very important. Before you can even get to that stage it is of vital importance that the team’s hooker understands the art of throwing and can deliver consistently accurate throws under pressure.
Simon Hardy continues to teach and inspire rugby players to reach their potential.
Simon Hardy Profile
Simon Hardy has 11 years of working with England teams and has over 100 Test matches under his belt. He brought his expertise to the England Rugby World Cup squads since the 1999 tournament, including the victorious side of 2003. He also enjoyed success with England A and Saxons in the Churchill Cup.
Simon Hardy has worked with many key players including Richard Cockerill, now Director of Rugby at Leicester Tigers and a Tigers player called Gavin Hickie…
Gavin Hickie, USA Rugby U20s Forwards Coach, is a former Ireland, Leinster and Leicester rugby player now based in California and taking rugby to the USA. He writes for RugbyMag.com and other publications when not coaching for Belmont Shore and blogging on lineoutcoach.com #busy