By Shaun Wheatcroft
Monday, December 2, 2019

Kicking Guru Alred Leads Search for Next Generation

The search to find the next generation of rugby kicking talent in Great Britain and Ireland will begin at Loughborough University on April 9 2020.

The Alred Trophy, named after world reknowned kicking coach and author of The Pressure Principle, Dave Alred MBE, has been launched in partnership with online coaching platform the School of Kicking, to unearth the most promising male and female at U18 level from across Great Britain and Ireland.

Over a career that has seen Alred involved in World Cup triumphs, Lions Tours and even a stint in the NFL , he has and continues to work with the biggest names in the game including Stuart Barnes, Johnatham Webb, Matt Burke, Monye Steyn, Rob Andrew, Jonny Sexton, George Ford and Johnny Wilkinson and is currently the kicking coach for the Queensland Reds.

The Alred Trophy will merge rugby and entertainment in an exciting series of kicking challenges which is set to be broadcast to television viewers and in a content series online. As well as providing some short critical coaching tips for all the competitors, to take away from the day and further develop their skills.

This is open to both Under 18 male and female kickers competing side by side, the competition will test their skills across six kicking disciplines designed to recreate the conditions and pressure applied to kickers during a match.

School of Kicking Head Coach, Dave Alred said, “As we’ve seen in Tokyo and in countless rugby matches at all levels of the game from grassroots through to international tests, kickers have the ability to influence and suddenly change the entire momentum of the game. Resting on their shoulders is the responsibility to set a platform for their team’s attack, but also to rescue their team from conceding points. They must have not only strength, accuracy and power, but also incredible mental aptitude to cope with the pressure.

“The Alred Trophy is designed to find the next Wilkinson, Steyn, Halfpenny, Carter and others who have gone on to make history in the sport. I’ve seen first-hand that we have some exciting talent coming through the ranks of both the men’s and women’s games in Britain and Ireland and I can’t wait to see what they can do.”

The inaugural event on April 9, 2020 will see 30 contestants vying for the trophy at Loughborough University to coincide with its rugby centenary.

Loughborough University Director of Rugby, Rhys Edwards said, “Next year is a significant milestone for us celebrating 100 years of rugby here at Loughborough University and a fitting occasion to be hosting the very first Alred Trophy event where we can help to develop and nurture upcoming talent. It just so happens that Dave Alred is one of our alumni and so we’re looking forward to welcoming him back onto campus along with the contestants. It’s a chance for us to witness rugby history in the making.”

Macesport CEO and Co-Founder of The School of Kicking, Ben Thompson said, “It’s important to us that we create opportunities for young talent to develop their skills and test themselves against the best from across Britain and Ireland.

“The Alred Trophy takes one of the core skills of the game and aims to make it more appealing to a younger audience – as we’ve seen with the success of the NFL Combine – and we believe it has the potential to help broaden interest in rugby as a supplement to the modern game across the world.

For more information or to register your interest in taking part go to the Alred Trophy page here.