Rosslyn Park’s young coaching core has helped steer the side to an early unbeaten run in the National League 1.
Director of rugby Kieran Power and head coach John Mills have assembled an impressive playing and coaching staff which is already demonstrating its value.
Following their 28-17 victory over Darlington Mowden Park last Saturday, Rosslyn Park have four wins from four, sit second in the league and have amassed the highest points scored total of anyone at 165.
Amidst growing aspirations of a maiden promotion to the Championship, Kieran Power remains level-headed in spite of his side’s success.
“The club has said that it wants to be in the Championship, but we want to do that within our means.”
Crucial to doing so is maintaining what he calls a ‘league rugby’ mentality in which every opponent is viewed with the same trepidation.
To help keep his players match ready, Power has procured the assistance of two current London Irish players.
Seán O’Brien, a British & Irish Lion as recently as 2017, is serving as Rosslyn Park’s defence coach and is joined by teammate James Stokes, who is serving as the assistant attack coach.
O’Brien is not new to the club, having spent the previous season helping out at The Rock while simultaneously completing his coaching badges.
Power knows the full weight of having active players among his coaching staff.
“They will inspire the guys on the pitch as their words hold a bit more weight, given that they do the job themselves,” Power said.
Rosslyn Park’s early points haul has also come due to the recent appointment of backs and attack coach Bryan Redpath.
The former Scotland international retired from coaching in 2017 but was tempted back to the side-line by Jimmy Lowes, who Redpath subsequently replaced at Rosslyn Park.
Redpath has previously worked with head coach Mills during his time at Sale Sharks almost a decade ago.
Their familiarity, much like that of the London Irish contingent, has helped unite the coaching core under a single playing philosophy.
To maximise this sense of togetherness, Power also stressed the players themselves have an input in team decisions to make sure they are inspired to play at their peak.
If results are anything to go by, this approach seems to be paying off.
But Power remains focused on the target ahead: “We want to be in with a shout [for the league] around Christmas time.”
Given the strength of coaching at Rosslyn Park, Power has set his side up in the best manner possible to achieve that goal.