As the local rugby season started on Saturday, new West Norfolk head coach AARON BEAUMONT, answered Gavin Caney’s questions
So Aaron, why West Norfolk and how are you settling in?
West is a big club in Norfolk with a history of a strong youth set up producing talented players and a healthy competitive adult section.
It’s a great club to be involved with playing a good standard of rugby to test my coaching ability. All involved in the club have made me very welcome and we have had a really positive few weeks of training leading into the season.
What are your hopes for the season? It’ll be a tough one following promotion to London 2NE.
We are confident we can compete in the division and believe we can challenge each team if we play to the top of our ability and stick to our plans.
We will be looking to make Gatehouse Lane a fortress and pick up some points on the road.
Your first game of the new league campaign ended in a 50-10 loss at Ipswich on Saturday. What was your assessment of the game, performance and result?
Ipswich are a good side who have been playing at this level for a while and are looking to push for promotion.
We showed real grit and determination on Saturday considering we had 14 players unavailable and suffered injuries in key positions early in the game.
We started the game strongly and finished strongly with tries and good passages of play. We have a few key things to work on in the coming weeks but the team showed great physicality and togetherness which will serve us well in this league.
Next up it’s a home game against Wymondham tomorrow. They also lost their opening match. How crucial is it to get that first win on the board and, as you’ve mentioned, how much will playing at home help?
It is important to win our first game for confidence and to boost morale. However, we will be looking for an improved more rounded performance against Wymondham implementing what we have been working on during the week and the weekend.
Playing at home this weekend will be great. The club is well supported and people will be excited to get back to the club for the first time in 18 months.
This will give the team an extra boost and energy throughout the game. It will be a big day at the club with the first pre-match dinner of the year along with the first and development teams both playing at home.
We look forward to the games this weekend.
What sort of coach would you describe yourself as and how do you plan on leading West?
I’m a coach that tries to improve all players’ skills and give opportunities to show their ability.
Once out of set piece we play a structure where anyone can play anywhere.
You’re only 27, that’s incredibly young to be coaching at the level you are. How did you end up getting into coaching and is it something you’d always wanted to do?
I got a knee injury that required surgery which put me out for a while and whilst I was recovering I helped coach at North Walsham.
I really enjoyed it and decided to carry on. I’ve coached other sports and really enjoyed the coaching side so I always knew I would end up coaching, hence why I did a sport coaching degree.
The club’s previous head coach Darren Clarke is now director of rugby. Explain how your relationship will work at Gatehouse Lane.
Me and Darren work closely to make sure everything is in place on the coaching side and the players get the best opportunity to improve.
Darren has been involved in the club for a long time so has a lot of contacts to help boost numbers at training and on game day.
West were closing in on a dream trip to Twickenham before the pandemic hit. How much of a motivation is another possible Senior Vase run?
The boys are disappointed they didn’t get a chance to run out at Twickenham after a great season.
Unfortunately, the RFU (Rugby Football Union) are not running any competition outside the leagues this year so it’s not something they can try to achieve this season.
You’re already coaching at senior level two. Tell us a little about how much time and effort it’ll take to become a level three coach.
The level three course is a one-year course with assessments and a portfolio to complete. It is something you need to commit time to and be open to learning more about yourself as a coach. You need to look more into the coaching process and reflect critically.
Finally, England’s Autumn internationals are looming over the horizon. How do you fancy the Red Roses men to do this November against Tonga, Australia and South Africa?
I think it will be a fresh-faced England squad meaning it could potentially take time for all the players to gel.
I’d imagine they will beat Tonga and South Africa by playing a more expansive game. After watching Australia recently I think it will be our toughest game of the month.
They seem to be playing a fast expansive game with some talented new and old players.
• We’re very close to announcing the return of our Your Local Paper presents Caney’s Corner Live events. Keep your eyes peeled to see what sports star, or stars, are coming to King’s Lynn next.
The facts are…
Name: Aaron Beaumont
Date of birth: April 12, 1994
Birth place: Ipswich
Grew up in: Norwich
Club supported: Northampton
Clubs played for: Norwich, North Walsham
Clubs coached: North Walsham, Thetford, West Norfolk (current)
Sporting hero (player): Lewis Moody
Sporting hero (coach): Alex Sanderson
• Aaron has a degree in sports science and coaching.
• During the off-season, the new West Norfolk first team head coach plays cricket.
• He has a five-month-old cocker spaniel called Bruce.
• Beaumont played football and only got into rugby in his final year of school.
• The player-turned-coach has been involved in rugby for 12 years.
• Aaron worked at Oundle School where current England and Sale players Tom and Ben Curry went to sixth form.
• The Gatehouse Lane chief has held coaching positions at North Walsham, Oundle School, Northampton Saints Developing Player Programme and Thetford.
Restaurant or takeaway?
Film or series?
Bath or shower?
Tea or coffee?
Sweet or savoury?
Summer or winter?
Day or night?
Holiday or stacyation?
Favourite food: Roast dinner
Least favourite food: Tomatoes
Favourite TV programme: Max and Paddy
Least favourite TV programme: Strictly Come Dancing
Favourite band/musician: Arctic Monkeys
Least favourite band/musician: Any heavy metal or screamo
Favourite film: Legend
Least favourite film: Pretty Woman
Answers in italics