Welsh rugby saddened by death of age group coach
WELSH rugby has been shocked by the death of a coach at the heart of its age-grade development.
Phil John had been developing the stars of the future with the Ospreys and then Wales for over a decade.
Mr John, 58, died this week after a short illness.
Originally from Gowerton he settled in the Amman Valley after marrying wife Sharon.
Peter Owen, Ospreys Rugby Media Manager, said: “Everybody at Ospreys Rugby was saddened to hear of the death of long serving age-grade coach, Phil John, at the weekend following a short illness.
“Phil has been a head coach of the Ospreys U18 squad since the very beginning of regional age-grade rugby, proving to be a positive influence on a host of players coming through the development pathway, driving standards and values with the set-up.
“Many of the players he has worked with have graduated to become not only fully-fledged Ospreys, but Welsh internationals and British and Irish Lions.
“The thoughts of everybody involved with the Ospreys are with Phil’s family and friends at this sad time.”
Jeff Roach, a colleague in the WRU, said of the
former Gowerton, Amman United and Ammanford coach: “It’s a total shock for the whole of the Amman Valley and Scarlets region. I worked closely with him, he was a friend, a colleague and a top guy who will be sorely missed.”
WRU Group Chief Executive Roger Lewis said: “Phil was a key member of the WRU’s Development staff, working to raise the standard of coaching across the board in Wales, from grassroots to the Principality Premiership. He was also a committed coach, giving of his time to develop players, both within the Ospreys region and internationally with Wales Women and Wales Under 18. His sudden death is a shock to everyone he worked with and he will be sadly missed.”