Blades Joins Flying Fijians Coaching Staff
22 October, 2012
Former Wallaby Cameron Blades has today joined the Flying Fijians camp as their Scrum Coach to help the team prepare for the Europe tour in November.
In the 1990’s the prop earned 45 caps playing for NSW Waratahs and played over 200 games for the Gordon club in Sydney, Australia including two First Grade premierships.
He toured with the Wallabies in 1996, 1997 and 1998 playing in Argentina, Europe and UK and says that being asked to assist the Flying Fijians with their scrum is a good and exciting opportunity for him.
“I’m really excited to work with the Fijians on their scrums; obviously it’s an area of their game that needs a little bit of work and development that’s why they have brought me over to work with the group.”
Coming from a family of rugby players it was easy for him to follow in his three elder brother’s footsteps one of which is Andrew Blades.
“My older brother Andrew was a Wallaby and is currently the Wallabies Forwards Coach. I am the youngest of four boys and we all played a lot of rugby but only Andrew and I were the two that went on to play professionally and get capped for Australia.”
Blades coaching career includes his recent experience as Rugby Coaching Director, Sydney Grammar School 1995 – 1998, ARU Presenter at Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3 Coaching courses, Coaching Consultant/Specialist coach with Australian Rugby Union Junior Representative teams, NSW Rugby Union Junior Representative teams, Clubs in Australia, Japan and the United Kingdom.
Most recently he was appointed the Head Coach for the Southern Districts Rugby Club in Australia and is well known as a “no-nonsense” task master.
In his career as a Wallaby he never got the chance to play against the Flying Fijians, but was once invited to play for the New South Wales Fiji team. He was noted for the hard times he caused his opposing props as he excelled in games against the British Lions and the huge South African front rows but he never got the opportunity to play in the Rugby World Cup.
“I didn’t play in the 1999 RWC because I was in the Waratahs squad but when they won it in Cardiff it was an exciting time for all of us.”
He says that he has watched some Fiji rugby matches and has a fair idea of the work that needs to be done.”
“I have seen them play the odd test match, so I very much know how the Fijians play and their style of rugby and the adventure they try and bring to the game, which is the style of rugby I like playing and the style of rugby I coach at home so it fits in well.”
“But in any 15-a side rugby game the set piece is also very important and I’m here to try and help them get a good solid platform there and also look at how we can build a pathway to make sure that there is a strong Fijian Front row and tight five coming through for many years to come.”
He started playing rugby at the tender age of six and has been actively involved in the sport for about 35 years.
“You can never differentiate good or bad memories because for me really it’s just the highs and lows of being picked and dropped, you know not hearing your name being called out for any test match is pretty disappointing. I try not to ride the highs and lows I keep a pretty even keel.”
Blades will travel with the team to Europe in November.