Michiel Snijders and Barro Kessler will immediately become the new coaches of the Rotterdam Student Rugby Club. After years of service at the Haagsche Rugby Club and the Delftsche Studenten Rugby-Club in the Dutch premiership (ereklasse), the duo will succeed coach Ray Blackburn. They also remain active in their role as coaches of the Dutch National Student XV.
The times of inactivity and uncertainty caused by the coronavirus have, despite the unruly character of the Rotterdam Student Rugby Club, a considerable effect on the activities. Despite the heavy clouds that these bring with them, better weather is on its way. The ambition of the Rotterdam Student Rugby Club is to return to the first division, from which they relegated after the 2013/2014 season. In addition, the club wants to show that Dutch rugby talents studying in Rotterdam can find a serious challenge at the RSRC. By attracting two premiership coaches, Michiel Snijders and Barro Kessler, the Rotterdam students are making a statement for a strong start to the new season.
Judging by their rugby career, the two are very fond of student rugby. The men have been head coaches of the Haagsche Rugby Club of the Hague and the Delft Student Rugby-Club for several years. With the latter they promoted to the premiership, the highest rugby level in the Netherlands. In addition, they are now coaches of the Dutch National Student XV, and despite several offers from premiership clubs, they now make the ambitious transition to the Rotterdam Student Rugby Club.
Michiel Snijders: ” In our considerations for a new challenge, Barro and I found the plan and vision of RSRC fit best with what we as coaches were looking for. An ambitious club and group that, with vision and good management, wants to get the best out of themselves in the long term. Rugby is the essence for us and with RSRC we think we can make great strides in this direction. At the same time, together we can lay a healthy foundation for a club that offers grassroots rugby, but also a platform for rugby players with ambition at a high level and aspirations for the various national selections”.
Barro Kessler: “With an extensive vision and a strong focus on club culture, the choice was quickly made for me. The future plans of Rotterdam Students give us time to work hard on the next step of the club’s legacy”.
President of the 54th Board of Rotterdam Student Rugby Club Sam Dobbelaar: “The Rotterdam Student Rugby Club is proud to have been able to attract these two coaches. As a board we think they fit perfectly within the long-term vision of the club. Especially because of their extensive experience in the premiership and student rugby, we expect that they can mean a lot to our club. With this technical staff we would like to give the last push to the ambition to play for promotion to the first division”.
President of the technical committee Sjoerd Govaerts: “Although we initially had no intention of making a change in the training staff, we could not let this opportunity pass us by. Coaches of this calibre bring years of honorary experience, as well as a strong affinity with student rugby. Without a doubt, they are best suited to improve our playing style in connection with the way student rugby should be played: exciting, fast and above all smart. On behalf of the technical committee, I am delighted to welcome them to the RSRC and look forward to what promises to be a fantastic season!
Many thanks to outgoing coach Ray Blackburn
The club underlines that the change of guard does not mean that Blackburn, who took office at the start of the 2018/2019 season, did not add a lot of value to the students. Dice player: “Unfortunately attracting this duo also means that we had to part with Ray Blackburn. We thank him extensively for all his efforts for the club and wish him all the best in the future”.
In the coming week a detailed interview with the new coaches will be published on this website.