Mike Rayer will head up the Crawshay’s coaching team for their historic fixture against Hong Kong on Friday 2nd November at the Gnoll, Neath, 7.30pm kick off. Mike needs little introduction in terms of his playing career having been capped by Wales twenty one times and racking up 367 appearances for Cardiff RFC. What is less known is Mike’s incredible coaching career, as he is the longest serving Director of Rugby in England having been with Bedford Blues in the English Championship for the past thirteen years. Mike has also been long associated with the Crawshays having toured Limerick as a player and been a coach in the Dubai 7s twice. There was an excellent article about the life and times of Mike Rayer by esteemed journalist Simon Thomas, which you can read by clicking here:
Mike commented on his appointment and the upcoming fixture, ‘I’m extremely honoured and privileged to be asked by the Crawshay’s management and committee to help prepare this squad for the game against Hong Kong. The opportunity for the players to showcase the talent of the Club game in Wales against potentially a RWC participating team is a really exciting one. Hopefully we’ll put on a performance that is very much in keeping with the very best Crawshay’s traditions. It’s a club with which I’ve enjoyed some brilliant memories over the last 20 or so years both playing and coaching, and although we’ll only have limited preparation time I’m sure it’s going to be a great occasion.’
Alongside Mike will be Aberavon Head Coach Jason Hyatt looking after the forwards and Gavin Dacey, Merthyr Backs Coach who will assist with the backs. Both have coached the Crawshays either on UK soil in our annual fixtures against Oxford and Cambridge University or on one of our annual international tours.
Crawshay’s Team Manager Ian Brice commented on the appointments, ‘We are really grateful to Mike, Jason and Gavin for agreeing to coach the team for this historic fixture. We’ve got a really short preparation time compared to Hong Kong who train together daily as part of the Hong Kong elite performance programme, so we needed coaches who know the Crawshay’s ethos and can get the players to gel pretty quickly. These guys fit the bill perfectly.’
There are still spaces left in the pre-match hospitality. Please see below for full details and get in touch with Tammy Nurse if you wish to book. It’s really shaping up to be a great event.