NTU Rugby Union welcomes Alex O'Dowd to its coaching team

Nottingham Trent University Sport are delighted to confirm that Alex O'Dowd has been named as the latest addition to the Rugby Union coaching team.

Nottingham Trent University Sport are delighted to confirm that Alex O'Dowd has been named as the latest addition to the Rugby Union coaching team.

The antipodean will combine his role at NTU with Championship side Nottingham Rugby as first XV assistant coach. Nottingham Rugby continue to strengthen their links with the University, both with the first team and the academy side.

The 49 year-old Kiwi joins the team after recently leaving his role as assistant coach and academy manager at North Harbour, who ply their trade at the top level of domestic rugby in New Zealand.

O'Dowd is a former head coach of the Dutch national side and brings with him a vast experience of coaching in both European and Southern Hemisphere rugby, having spent time with Ulster, Bordeaux Begles and Super Rugby side The Blues.

NTU's Head of Rugby, Neil Fowkes, was eager to share his excitement: "We are excited to be welcoming Alex on board ready for what is set to be another great year for Rugby Union at NTU. With the Men's first team moving up to the Premier A league, having another highly experienced coach on the bench will not only aid the players individually but also the programme as a whole. This is another brilliant example of the benefits NTU reaps through the partnership with Nottingham Rugby."

O'Dowd will assist Neil in developing the performance pathway in Rugby at NTU by taking a lead on the delivery and player management, leaving Neil room to oversea the strategic and recruitment aspects of the programme.

Speaking about his appointment, O'Dowd said: "The opportunity to be part of a club where everyone has ambition is really exciting. Speaking with both NTU and Nottingham Rugby and hearing their vision and what they want to achieve just reinforced my desire to be a part of the set-up."

O'Dowd also has previous links with the city, and also has good knowledge of English rugby, adding: "My son played cricket here for a couple of seasons with Wollaton and thoroughly enjoyed the club and the people, and I have strong cricket links from my time in the UK over the years. I have followed both the Championship and Premiership closely and I know from speaking with players who have played in the competition that it is an extremely tough, combative and demanding competition. You have to be flexible in your tactics due to the changes in conditions and every week anyone can beat anyone, which makes it a great challenge."

New Nottingham Head Coach Ian Costello was clearly pleased to have added O'Dowd to his coaching team, saying: "Alex was the stand-out candidate. I think he's going to be an excellent addition and I look forward to what he’s going to bring to the table. He's got a very flexible and very adaptable skill set, similar to myself and Neil."

Speaking about the broader New Zealander coaching ethic that will now be part of the club, Costello went on to add: "They have a long history of being very, very successful, but I think it's deeper than that. They have a very good understanding of skill development and how players learn, and how you put them in environments where they excel, and I think that they've been doing that from a young age in New Zealand."

O'Dowd will join Costello and Neil Fowkes, who has recently been promoted to the role of first XV coach, as part of Nottingham's new-look three-man coaching team.

For more information on NTU's Rugby Union programme, check out our website.

NTU Rugby Union welcomes Alex O'Dowd to its coaching team

Published on 30 June 2016
  • Category: Sport

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