It all starts up front with the launch of the Front Row Club

The Canterbury Rugby Football Union (CRFU) has launched The Front Row Club. A club dedicated to the development and support of props and hookers in Canterbury.

The Front Row Club is the brainchild of front rower and former Sydenham prop Jason Ryan. Ryan saw the need for a club dedicated to front rowers. “I wanted to develop a coaching programme that focused solely on front rowers. After trialling the concept with local Christchurch club Sydenham 3 years ago I knew that it was something that would benefit all players and I wanted to roll it out to the wider rugby community” says Ryan.

The club aims to support front row player’s and is designed to complement the New Zealand Rugby Unions Front Row Factory initiative. The key focus of the club is on safety, because a safe technique is an effective technique. ”We want to equip rugby players with the resource and skills that will focus on technique and safety. It’s great for the clubs, schools and parents to know that their children are safe and have been taught the right techniques and given the skills to protect themselves in the front row” says Ryan.

The Front Row Club will bring all levels of the game together from professional to grassroots level. The aim is to develop junior front rowers into senior front rowers and beyond. To do this the club will provide expertise from senior and professional levels of the game. Expertise provided by Mike Cron All Black scrum coach, Dave Hewett Crusaders Forwards Coach and players such as Owen Franks & Wyatt Crockett will be available for front row props.

Crusaders Forwards Coach and former All Black, Dave Hewett says “the Front Row Club is a fantastic initiative. Everybody knows it all starts up front! With the guidance and insight from seasoned pros, we can hone the specialist skills and technique required for front rowers at an early age.”

The club will hold training clinics and sessions on scrumage techniques, safety, strength and conditioning tips as well as general rugby skills tailored for front rowers. Sessions will be run by current and former All Blacks and Crusaders as well as professional coaches and players. Ryan has already run sessions with Canterbury Academy, University, Rolleston Colts, & New Brighton to name a few. Schools and clubs interested in running a session should contact Jason Ryan through the CRFU, or the Front Row Club Facebook page