While we await the decision on our representation to UK Sport to fund the GB squad for the Tokyo cycle, planning for this year’s European Championships continues with the announcement of our coaching team. Paul Shaw will continue as Head Coach following a very successful Rio cycle which saw the team become European Champions in 2015 and narrowly miss out on a semi-final place at the Rio Paralympic Games. Appointed as Assistant coaches are Rob Tarr and Darren Matthews.
Rob Tarr is one of the most experienced players and coaches in the game. He represented GB in every major tournament between 1985- 2005 including 3 Paralympic Games, 3 World Championships and 4 European Championships, and was captain of the team for the Athens games in 2004. Following his retirement from international rugby he coached the GB development squad between 2006-2009, many of who went on to be selected for the senior team. He also was part of the Sporting Champions and Respect Athlete mentoring programmes working and inspiring young people. In 2012 he joined Leicester Tigers Wheelchair Rugby Club as Head Coach and has led the team to promotion from Division 2 – 1 and to silver and bronze medals in both national and international competition. Rob has also been involved in a delivering a number of the GBWR programmes and is one of only two Coach Tutors.
Darren Matthews also joins with considerable playing and coaching experience. As a player he has won League, Nationals and European titles. He made the full transition to coaching with Leicester Tigers before becoming the lead Northern Talent coach and eventually assistant coach in the Talent Development programme. He also brings a a great deal of experience in video analysis and nutrition.
Chief Executive David Pond commented, ‘ I am delighted that Paul Shaw will continue as Head Coach. Over the last 4 years he has built a strong squad blending new talent alongside the established faces. The appointment of Rob Tarr and Darren Matthews as Assistant Coaches really makes this a powerful coaching team. Rob and Darren bring subtly different skills to the mix but what I really like about all three men is their belief in the squad’s ability to medal and their selfless commitment to the development of our athletes at a very challenging time’.