RWU HQ – The Wales national rugby team took a big hit earlier this week – just six months from the Rugby World Cup.
The Welsh Rugby Union announced Thursday that fitness coach Adam Beard has left the team for a gig in the NFL. According to ESPNScrum.com, Beard has “secured a director of high performance position with an NFL franchise.”
“While I am disappointed to miss out on an exciting year ahead, I am confident we have put in place an excellent performance program and have the team in place to deliver it.”
Beard continued, “I think Wales has some of the best practitioners in the game, and I have enjoyed working closely with them to provide a platform for our players to flourish on the international stage. The decision to go was undoubtedly made easier because of the strong team in place, along with the outstanding facilities we now have in place here in Wales. We have been developing our high performance protocols for a number of years now, and the plans for Rugby World Cup are already in place. I look forward to monitoring Wales’ progress closely.”
While head coach Warren Gatland is disappointed to see Beard, the man heavily credited for the incredible conditioning and fitness levels of the Welsh ruggers, move on, he’s excited to see what’s to come in his fitness coach’s future.
“Adam has to take due credit for ensuring Wales is well placed for the future,” coach Warren Gatland told BBC. “While I am disappointed that Adam is leaving before the Rugby World Cup, this is an opportunity that only comes around once in a lifetime and to attract this interest from the NFL shows how far our high-performance reputation has grown in recent years.”
While the team who has given Beard the job has yet to come forward, it’ll be interesting to see which franchise it is. Chances are good it’ll be a steady franchise, like the New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers or Seattle Seahawks, and not an organization in flux. But it’s purely speculation at this point.
From Wales’ standpoint, it’s important to find their new fitness coach as soon as possible. However the process cannot be rushed, they must hire the right guy. And it sounds like the team already has a plan in place to follow for the meantime.
More information should come out in the next week or so about Beard’s new gig, so stay tuned!
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P.s… Here’s our Johnathan Wicklow Barberie with Warren Gatland.