10:19am Friday 21st February 2014
By Damian Dolan
London Welsh have appointed Darren Crompton as the club’s scrum coach.
Capped once by England in 2007, Crompton enjoyed a long and successful career spanning spells with Bath, Richmond, Cardiff Blues and Bristol, and developed a reputation as a formidable scrummager.
He said: “Having met with Justin [Burnell] it was a really easy decision to come on board at London Welsh.
“I think it’s the sign of a very proactive club that they’ve approached me when they’re up at the top of the Championship table – it’s a statement in terms of what London Welsh are looking to do and I’m looking forward to working with the calibre of player at the club.
“The scrum can win games for you in the Championship. I’m going to be looking for a bit of cohesion; getting the scrum working as an eight, which takes time to do. You can’t develop that sort of thing overnight.
“I’ll also be doing some micro coaching with the front row – working on people’s body positions and core work - everything that encompasses the scrum.”
London Welsh head coach Justin Burnell, said: “Darren’s C.V. speaks for itself, 200 games plus for Bristol and a cap for England, and now working at the fantastic Hartpury College.
“He’s a guy with great vision, an excellent work ethic and he fits into what London Welsh is about. Darren is hugely experienced in the Championship and he knows what this league is about, it’s about set-piece.”
After playing for England at U16s, U18s, and captaining England U21s, Crompton began his senior career at Bath in 1993.
He departed for Richmond four years later, where he stayed for one season, before returning to the West Country in 1999 to join Bristol.
Bristol’s relegation from the Premiership in 2003 prompted a short stint at Cardiff Blues, but he returned for a second spell a year later and helped Bristol back into the top flight in 2005. His outstanding form in the Premiership was rewarded with a full England cap against South Africa in Bloemfontein in 2007.
It is perhaps for his time at Bristol for which Crompton is best remembered - 283 competitive appearances over two spells following his debut in 1999.
Crompton will combine his new role at London Welsh will his position as Scrum Development Coach at Hartpury College in Gloucester, a role he has occupied since 2012 and which sees him responsible for scrum and front row development across the Hartpury Rugby Academy.
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