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Aviva Premiership
ESPN launch coaching masterclass
ESPNscrum Staff
August 15, 2011
ESPN commentators Ben Kay and Austin Healey, London Irish v Gloucester, Aviva Premiership, Madejski Stadium, Reading, England, September 19, 2010
The Masterclass events will call upon the vast experience of Ben Kay and Austin Healey © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Austin Healey | Ben Kay
Tournaments/Tours: Aviva Premiership
Teams: England

ESPN and Premiership Rugby have announced the details of their new series of coaching Masterclass events ahead of the 2011-12 season.

In the run up to each Aviva Premiership match week, ESPN and Premiership Rugby will hold a coaching event aimed at both players and coaches alike. Utilising the experience of former England internationals and ESPN pundits Ben Kay and Austin Healey, along with ESPN's rugby presenters Mark Durden-Smith and Nick Mullins - they will coach, inform and inspire the next generation of rugby players. A first-team player from the local Premiership club will also attend and field questions from the youngsters.

The events will occur over the course of the 24-week season with each club getting a visit twice. Another aspect of the course will be "coaching the coaches" masterclasses for local and grassroots backroom staff and management. The masterclass will be run by either Kay or Healey and feature input from the local Premiership club's management and players.

Jeroen Oerlemans, Vice President, TV Channels ESPN, EMEA said: "ESPN is delighted to be right in the thick of it with the core of English club rugby. After a successful first year of Aviva Premiership Rugby on ESPN, we will continue to look at innovative ways to enhance our connection to the rugby community."

Wayne Morris, Head of Community at Premiership Rugby, said: "The ESPN Premiership Rugby Masterclasses are a great opportunity for the rugby community to benefit from ESPN coming to town to broadcast live at one of our clubs. ESPN and the Premiership Rugby clubs are looking forward to working together to help develop youngsters' rugby skills at schools new to rugby as well as providing coaching sessions for the army of volunteer coaches who's dedicated work is key at grassroots clubs in helping develop the rugby players of the future."

The new Aviva Premiership Rugby season kicks off in September, with lead broadcaster ESPN offering the first of its 43 live and exclusive matches through the season - including one semi final and the final - weekly TV highlights, classic Premiership Rugby games and extensive online coverage via ESPNscrum.com.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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