British and Irish Lion puts on a masterclass for Culford pupils

ENCOURAGEMENT: Jason White carried out a full-throttled coaching session
ENCOURAGEMENT: Jason White carried out a full-throttled coaching session

Former Scotland international and British and Irish Lion Jason White tackled one of his biggest challenges yet, a group of school children.

The 39-year-old second row was at Culford School this week to put the rugby boys through a masterclass, as the retired professional embarks on a coaching career.

He gave each age group a two-hour session, starting with the senior U18 boys, then the U15s and finally the U13s.

Head of rugby Mark Bolton said it was ‘incredible’ to get the opportunity to have a British and Irish Lion take to the field.

“You can’t get better really,” he said. “His level of experience is just incredible. I mean, he’s a British Lion for heaven’s sake, that’s as good as it gets.

“It’s great experience for the boys, just to spend a bit of time with a player of this calibre.

“It may be the only chance they have to get this close to someone like Jason, although we have a lot of really good players, capable of going far.

“And it’s great for me too, to be able to stand back and watch someone else coach my teams.

“The U13s were really excited about the chance to show him what they could do as well.”

He said the chance had come about through the sponsors of their kit, as White is their ambassador.

White has just begun a foray into coaching and said he was also getting something from the experience.

He said: “It’s great to be here at the school and to take on a session.

“It’s a chance to get involved and see a different coaching style and how it differs. I’m looking forward to it.”

Pupils at Culford have been spoilt of late, with a visit last week from Tim Henman for the budding racket players and current England hockey international Hannah Martin will be on site next week.

Captain of the U18 squad —18-year-old Sam Nash — said: “I think it’s quite important, for your development, to meet a role model like Jason.

“He’s done it all pretty much, he’s a great inspiration.

“And it’s good to have a different voice and perspective from the coach. It’s really exciting.”