First XV stars join Academy set-up as coaches

James Pritchard in action for Canada. Photo by Colin Watson/RugbyCanada
James Pritchard in action for Canada. Photo by Colin Watson/RugbyCanada

The Blues Academy have announced that Blues 1st XV players James Pritchard and Charlie Clare are joining the Academy coaching team for the rest of the season.

Australian born Pritchard, who is Canadian qualified through his grandfather, has 62 caps for Canada. He has played in the last four World Cups, and is Canada’s all-time top points scorer with 607 points.

He has played for the Blues more than 250 times, and is the club’s leading points scorer ever with over 2,000 points.

He captained the Blues in the 125th season in 2011, and has been Blues Player of the Season three times. He is an RFU Level 3 coach and a Level 3 certified Personal Trainer.

Charlie, a hooker, played for England U16s before spending four years in the Leicester Tigers Academy which incorporated loan moves to Loughborough Students, Nottingham and Jersey, and joined Bedford in 2013.

He has played more than 50 times for the Blues and was selected for the Championship XV which played Canada in 2014.

He is currently studying for a BSc in Sports Coaching at the University of Bedfordshire, and is an RFU Level 2 coach.

Blues Academy director Denis Ormesher said: “We are delighted to have Pritch and Charlie as part of the Academy coaching team.

“They are both good coaches, and can add to this personal knowledge of what it takes to play professional rugby.

“Charlie has started to work with our hookers, on their individual skills, and with the pack on the set piece, and knows what it is like to break into the Championship as a young player.

“​Pritch will bring world class knowledge of back play, having played against the best in the world, and is the ideal role model for an aspiring young player.”