FORMER Welsh international hooker Mefin Davies has been added to the Warriors coaching staff as a full-time academy coach. As part of Worcester’s wide-ranging plans to re-launch the club’s youth system, which includes the creation of six new ‘regional academy centres’, considerable funds have been made available to provide the necessary resources. That will see 41-year-old Davies, a former Leicester Tigers, Gloucester and Ospreys front-rower, joining the academy coaching team to work with the club’s up-and-coming forwards. Warriors’ high performance director Nick Johnston said: “Mefin will be in a similar role to Sam Vesty as a transitional coach between the academy and the first team, but he will look after the forwards. He will also support (forwards coach) Carl Hogg with the first team’s forwards play. “We now have Dean (Ryan), Carl, Simon (Cross, defence coach), Shane (Howarth, backs coach) and Ceri Jones (scrum coach) with the first team. “Then, in hybrid roles between the first team and the academy, we have Sam, who looks after the back play and skill acquisition, and Mefin with forward play. “Beneath that, we have Mark Hewitt as academy manager and Chim Gale, who has been moved up to assistant academy manager. “Dan Lyne is a rugby analysis guy, but he is an up-and-coming coach and he will assist with regional delivery. “Then there are many others too who supplement things because it is a wide-reaching programme across a big delivery area.” Johnston added: “To get the programme up and running will cost in excess of a million pounds and will be between £300,000 and £350,000 to run it each year. “But the board have under-written that for at least four years going forward. “It’s good to have the resources there, but we have to deliver now – that’s what it’s all about – and we have to get that talent coming through the system. “I came here with my eyes open and knew the problems, but the size of the region is massive, and I didn’t envisage to what level the academy had been shut down. “When I was at Northampton, we did start from a similar position, so the encouraging thing is that you know you can get it to work. “You just need to get an understanding at an educational level and the board and shareholders have been fantastic in supporting that. They got the importance of it straight away, as did Dean, so it has been seamless in that way. “If you look at the demographic of the squad and where we recruited from and the age groups of those players, then it works itself out pretty clearly."
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