23rd March 2018


Huddersfield Giants Academy welcomed Harlequins Academy Manager Tony Diprose to the Giants Training Centre.

Foster Care


Huddersfield Giants Head of Youth, Andy Kelly, this week welcomed Harlequins Academy Manager Tony Diprose to the Giants Training Centre.

Diprose, once an England Captain and whose rugby union career spanned out 15 years at the top level, met Andy Kelly recently to develop both teams academy’s across the codes.

Kelly spoke of his time and meeting the Harlequins Academy Manager, reflecting that it was a brilliant learning experience:

“Tony Diprose made the initial approach with regards of coming up and taking a look at our system and it’s something we’re very receptive about. It’s good to cross reference against other academies in the same sport but not be blinkered with other systems outside the sport. There’s a lot of similarity between rugby league and union processors. There’s differences in volume that you feed in but it’s nice endorsement and challenges in there.

“When you listen to conversations we have with Tony I’m listening to bits that’s outside of what we do but it’s a nice challenge to incorporate good practise into both systems.

“I think the big things for us is the similarities between the two. The first thing I see that comes out of any sport visit is that return and so we can look at getting other practises in place. Evolution comes out of that too.

“I think the interest from other sports in our sport has got to be a good thing. Endorsement is massive out of meetings like this, having Harlequins coming up and showing they’re open to improving themselves and staying ahead of the game

“It’s the transparency of the pathway. When we bring a young player in, from the ages of 14 to 19, we’ve got to make sure that we aren’t selling them a false dream. We’re preparing them for life as professional rugby league players and that is a realistic opportunity.”

Diprose added:

“It’s good to share a few ideas and few thoughts. Me and Andy are in a similar position in terms of trying to provide players for our first team. It’s good for us to be out of our comfort zone and process what you do. It’s nice to challenge what we do – whether it’s the right way and if it’s something that can be transitioned or vice versa.

“From my side it’s good to see that everyone buys in to the one thing. You can see that there’s a good spirit about the group which is massive and there’s direction. That’s massive and you can see what the process is. Its about making sure that’s applied day to day, 365 days a year, 24/7.

“For us, breeding young talent, it’s a massive part of what we’re about. We want to see local products on the field who’ve come through the system. We’ve got a lot already and a lot of internationals but the game keeps changing. We’re providing opportunities for local guys to move to the top of the game. At the moment we’re managing to do that and we want players to be able to see that.”


Heikki Kovalainen




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