Who's Who 2012/13
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Denis was born in Liverpool and educated at St. Edward’s College and Sheffield University. He played for Sheffield University and for Liverpool.
Denis has coached in the Junior Blues, and coached in the Blues Academy for 8 years, and was Academy Manager for 5 years, before leaving the Blues to become Director of Rugby at Luton in 2008. Denis returned to the Blues in 2010 as Academy Director. He has worked with the East Midlands Under 18 squads and coached the East Midlands Under 20s. Denis is a RFU Level 4 Coach and RFU Coach Educator/Tutor.
Denis works in a Global Business Development and Operations role for a Pharmaceutical Contract Organisation. He is married with a daughter and two rugby playing sons.
Date Joined Bedford: 2000
Sporting Hero: Muhammed Ali, Lance Armstrong
3 Dinner Companions: Antonio Carlucci
Gareth Davies: Team Manager.
Gareth originates from St. Davids in Pembrokeshire. He played county rugby and cricket in Wales before moving to Bedfordshire in 1983.
Gareth is an RFU Level 2 coach and for several years was a junior coach at Ampthill RFC before becoming involved with the Bedfordshire County RFU, where he coached from U14s to U16s. He is currently Squad Manager for East Midlands U16s, and assists the WRU as Squad Manager for the Welsh Exiles, where he has overseen the development of many players who have gained international honours. Gareth combines these roles alongside his Blues role.
Gareth assists with player identification and recruitment and provides logistical support throughout the season and on match days. Gareth is employed as a Civil Servant and is a member of the Chartered Management Institute. He is married with two daughters and a son.
Date Joined Bedford: 2011
Sporting Hero: Steve Redgrave/Don Bradman
3 Dinner Companions: Richie Benaud
James Hinkins. Head Coach.
James was born in 1977 and was educated at Dover Grammar School for Boys and De Montfort University, Bedford.
James, who joined the Blues in 1995, played for the Blues Development XV (Under 23) and 2nd XV before making his Blues 1st XV debut in the 1997/98 season. James had a short spell at Moseley in the 2002/03 season before rejoining the Blues and going on to play more than 130 games at wing and full back for the Blues 1st XV. James left the Blues in 2008 and spent two years playing for Cambridge before retiring from playing early in 2010.
James, who is one of only four players who have been granted testimonial games by the Blues, is an RFU Level 2 Coach. He is married with a young daughter, and teaches PE teacher at Redborne School.
Date Joined Bedford: 1995
Sporting Hero: Daley Thompson and Liam Roberts
3 Dinner Companions: Daley Thompson
Dick Van Dyke
Alan Brown. Backs Coach.
Alan was born in 1977 and educated at Bedford Modern School and De Montfort University, Bedford.
Alan, who joined the Blues in 1994, played for the Blues Colts, Development XV (Under 23) and 2nd XV. He coached the Blues U19s during an injury lay off in 1997-98 while still at University, before moving to London to work for the RFU and became player/coach at Richmond. He moved back to Bedford and played for Kettering before injury ended his playing days.
He re-joined the Blues, coaching the Academy in 2004/05, before leaving the Blues in 2007 to take up the post of Head Coach at Ampthill, where he won two league titles and the East Midlands Cup.
Alan is an RFU Level 3 coach. He is a coach educator and assessor for the RFU and has worked as a Rugby Development Officer for the RFU. He is married, with a young daughter, and teaches PE at Biddenham School.
Date Joined Bedford: 1994
Sporting Hero: Ian Botham
3 Dinner Companions: Stephen Fry
Steve Guest: Backs Coach.
Steve was born in Derby and was educated at John Port School, Derby, and De Montfort University. He played for Worcester, De Montfort University, Kempston, Bedford Queens and Bedford Athletic.
He has coached at Bedford Athletic, Bedfordshire County Juniors, and presently helps out with the Junior Blues Under 7s as well as being the Under 19 Colts backs coach. Steve is an RFU Level 3 Coach.
Steve is married, with two young sons, and teaches Physical Education at Bedford School.
Date Joined Bedford: 2000
Sporting Hero: Gary Mabutt and Steve Redgrave
3 Dinner Companions: Brian Clough
Rich Candlin: Forwards Coach.
Rich was born in Birmingham and educated at Great Barr School, Birmingham. He studied Sport and Environmental studies at De Montfort University, Bedford, and completed his Teacher Training at Hertfordshire University. He played 2nd row for Coventry before joining Bedford Blues in 1997. He played for the Blues U21 XV and Development XV making his Blues 1st XV debut in 1999. Rich spent a year playing in Ireland for De La Salle Palmerston in Dublin, before joining Cambridge in 2002. He retired from playing in 2008.
Rich is an RFU Level 2 coach who has coached the Hertfordshire U15 squad and was Director of Coaching at Letchworth until last year.
Rich is married with two young sons and is Head of PE at Samuel Whitbread Community College in Shefford.
Date Joined Bedford: 1997
Sporting Hero: Michael Jordan
3 Dinner Companions: Jenifer Aniston
Gregor Gillanders: Forwards Coach.
Gregor was born in Kettering and educated at Bishop Stopford School. He is currently studying through the Open University for a degree in Engineering.
He played 2nd row for Leicester Tigers from 2005 – 2008 (including a spell with Coventry on dual registration) before joining Bedford Blues in 2008. He has played over 90 games for the Blues, and although signed as a 2nd row has played most of his rugby for the Blues in the back row. Gregor made 7 appearances for England Under 19s, including the U19 World Cup in Belfast. He played for England U20s in the Six Nations tournament, and played in every England game in the U20 World Cup in 2007 when England finished runners up.
Date Joined Bedford: 2008
Sporting Hero: Most British Rugby players from the 90s
3 Dinner Companions: Sir Ranulph Fiennes
Neil Harris: Forwards Coach.
Neil was born in Norwich and educated at Wymondham High School and De Montfort University, Bedford. He joined the Blues Academy in 2000, when he came to University in Bedford, and played at prop for the Blues U19s, U21s, 2nd XV and 1st XV. Since then he has played for Wymondham, Norwich and Luton.
Neil is an RFU Level 2 coach, and a SAQ instructor, who has coached the Hertfordshire U14, and U15 squads and was Head Coach at Luton before before joining the Blues coaching team in 2012.
Neil is a teacher, and is Head of Rugby and Head of Boys Games at St George's School, Harpenden.
Date joined Bedford 2000
Sporting Hero Steven Redgrave
3 dinner companions Jessica Ennis
Ian Vass. Backs Ccoach.
Ian was born in Northampton and was educated at Northampton School for Boys.
He played for Northampton Saints, Harlequins, Stade Francais and is a current member of the Bedford Blues 1st XV squad.
Ian is married and has coached at Northampton School for Boys for the last 2 years. He is an RFU Level 2 Coach and is currently studying an Open University Degree in Sport and Fitness Management.
Date Joined Bedford: 2008
Sporting Hero: Norman Barker
3 Dinner Companions: The Pussy Cat Dolls
Matt Williams – Strength & Conditioning Coach
Matt was born in Wellingborough and educated at Weavers School before graduating with an Honours degree in Applied Sports Science from the University of Bedfordshire in 2008. He completed his Post Graduate Certificate of Education in 2011 and is currently completing an MSc in Sports Performance.
Matt began as a swimmer at county level, competing in various national competitions, and played football as a centre back. He played rugby at Wellingborough RFC from Under 14 - Under 19 as a centre and second row; for East Midlands Under 16s and Under 17s, and for the University of Bedfordshire.
Matt lectures in Physiology, Biomechanics and Research Methods, at Barnfield College (in association with the University of Bedfordshire) and has also worked as a personal trainer.
Matt works as Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Under-19 squad working on their physical development and testing of fitness.
Date joined Bedford: 2012
Sporting hero: Mark Foster and Jonah Lomu
3 Dinner Companions: Jonah Lomu
Harriet Cole - Sports Therapist
Harriet was born in Bedford and educated at Sharnbrook Upper School before graduating with an honours degree in Sports Therapy in 2006 from the University of Hertfordshire. Harriet’s personal interests are within sports and fitness and she is a keen runner. She has achieved recognition at county, national, and international level for horse riding.
Harriet works in a private practice in the BMI Manor Hospital Biddenham, with her main interests in injury assessment, rehabilitation and sports massage. Harriet has also been working with a PGA tour player, which has taken her across the pond on several occasions enabling her to escape cold winter training sessions in Bedford.
Harriet works with the Under 19 squad and is responsible for their match day medical cover, injury assessment and subsequent rehabilitation programmes.
Date Joined Bedford: 2007
Sporting Hero: Lance Armstrong
3 Dinner Companions: My granddad as I never got to meet him
Alan Carr or another comic
Myself in 10 years time
Nick Allen - Physiotherapist
Nick was born in Milton Keynes and educated at Stowe School before graduating with an honours degree in Physiotherapy in 2010 from the Manchester School of Physiotherapy.
Nick, a centre, played rugby for Stowe School, the Independent Schools Barbarians XV, and Buckinghamshire - from Under 14s to Under 21s.
Nick works in a private practice in the BMI Manor Hospital Biddenham. Nick works, as part of the Physio team, with the Under 19 squad and is responsible for their match day medical cover, injury assessment and subsequent rehabilitation programmes.
Date Joined Bedford: 2011
Sporting Hero: Lance Armstrong
3 Dinner Companions: Bradley Cooper
Danielle Yarwood - Sports Therapist
Dani was born in RAF Halton and educated at The John Colet school in Wendover, before graduating with a first class honours in Sports Therapy in 2009 from University of Hertfordshire.
After graduating Dani spent a season in Australia with a professional football and basketball team. She is now studying an MSc in Sports Rehabilitation at St Mary’s University College, Twickenham, graduating in May 2012. Her main interest is sports injury assesment and rehabilitation from acute injury to return to sport. Dani’s Master’s dissertation is studying the effect of agility exercise on ankle stability on a group of the Academy players.
Dani’s interests include dancing, ballet and hiphop. She competed in her university dance squad while studying, and now goes to the gym to keep fit.
Dani works, as part of the Physio team, with the Under 19 squad and supports their match day medical cover, injury assessment and subsequent rehabilitation programmes.
Date Joined Bedford: 2012
Sporting Hero: Darcy Bussell
3 Dinner Companions: Jonny Wilkinson
Emma Williams - Physiotherapist (Intern)
Emma was born, and grew up, in Bristol before graduating with a honours degree in Physiotherapy, in the summer of 2012, from Cardiff University.
Emma has always had a keen interest in sport and was brought up watching Bristol rugby club from a very young age. She spent a few years playing for a local rugby team at full back or on the wing, and knew from a young age she wanted to be involved with physiotherapy in a sporting context, preferably rugby.
Emma recently moved to Bedford, where she now works at Bedford Hospital as a junior rotational physiotherapist, and is currently interning as part of the physiotherapy team working with the Academy squad.
Date joined Bedford: Nov 2012
Sporting hero: Jonny Wilkinson
3 dinner companions: Jonny Wilkinson
Johnny Depp (as Jack Sparrow !)
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