30th October 2018, 07:49
Jason Seddon steps down as Wales U16 head coach
Wales Rugby League’s experienced junior international coach Jason Seddon is stepping down as head coach of Wales U16s after two very successful years in charge.
Seddon, 44, led Wales U16s to two wins against Ireland followed by the nation’s first ever victory over England at that level in 2017. The inaugural win led to a record number of young Welsh players signing for Super League clubs that year. The results in 2018 saw Wales' highest age-grade win in 17 years following an 80-0 victory over Scotland, followed by a narrow loss against England.
Wales Rugby League CEO Chris Thair said: “Jason has been instrumental in improving delivery standards and expectations around the Wales U16s programme and his experience and drive has been invaluable to us.
“To break two records as head coach, beating England for the first time and ensuring more players signed with Super League clubs than ever before is an outstanding achievement and a fantastic testament to the work he has undertaken. We thank Jason for his work over the years and we greatly appreciate what he brought during this time. We wish him every success in his next coaching role.”
Seddon said: “I would like to thank Wales Rugby League for the opportunity to lead and develop the U16s’ national programme over the last two years. To have access to a huge talent pool such as the one in Wales was incredibly exciting, and with the support of the National Governing Body and all the coaching team during that period I believe we have put the cornerstones firmly in place for Wales to kick on at youth level on the international stage.
“Performances over the last two years against Scotland, Ireland and notably England have signalled just how much young talent is available, not only to Wales Rugby League but to Super League and the entire professional game. The performance against England U16s in 2018 was particularly pleasing as Wales played a predominantly U15 team, evidencing just how far Wales have developed in these past two years.
“The current player pool certainly provides a very strong platform for Wales Rugby League to be very competitive in 2019 and beyond and I wish them every success.
“I would also like to pass on my thanks to all the coaching and support staff who have been part of the journey over the last two years, without them it would not have been possible to move forward in the way that we have.
“Finally, thank you to all the players and parents who have supported the programme since 2017. Each and every one of them really bought into to what we were looking to achieve throughout that time and their success along the way is testament to that. As a coaching group we have been extremely privileged to work with some wonderfully gifted young people, all of whom were exemplary in every aspect of their approach to learning and developing as players and young men both on and off the pitch.”