England defence coach Paul Gustard was at Sudbury Rugby Club on Tuesday evening, talking to the club’s coaches and taking a training session with the senior players and colts.
Gustard, who won England caps at several levels, previously coached at Saracens before joining England head coach Eddie Jones’ team, worked with Sudbury head coach Ben Scully when the latter had a one-year internship with the England squad during last year’s Six Nations and the Autumn internationals.
“It was an absolutely amazing opportunity to work with him and the rest of the team over the year,” said former Bury St Edmunds player Scully of what was a record-breaking run for Jones’ side.
“I certainly picked up a lot from him, and I tried to get some of that stuff in with the first team, some of his defensive ideas, and what he does with England.
“Hearing it from him in person was absolutely fantastic for the players.
“It’s a fantastic occasion for the club. Very prestigious, something special, and a rare opportunity. I think it’s a good reward for their performance on Saturday (a win over Chelmsford).”
Scully spent a lot of time with Gustard during his internship.
“He took me under his wing, and shared a lot of information. He was kind enough to say as a thank you he would like to come down and help us out,” he added.
In a career blighted by injury, flanker Gustard played for Leicester Tigers, London Irish and Saracens. When Jones was head coach at Saracens, he appointed Gustard assistant first-team coach.
n Meanwhile, Scully has been revelling in his Sudbury side moving off the bottom of London League Division One North for the first time since the second weekend of the season, following Saturday’s morale-boosting 54-10 home win over Chelmsford.
“It’s a nice feeling to finally be off the bottom of the league,” said Scully after his side’s eight-try demolition of their third-from-bottom visitors from Essex.
“In attack and defence, we got our message across and we executed it.
“We were more aggressive this week. It was a mindshift.
“The boys were more proactive, there was a better understanding of what we wanted to do.
“Chelmsford were very complimentary. They said they thought we had enough to stay up and I have always believed that is the case.”
Charles Jackson was in particularly clinical form for Sudbury in the thumping win over Chelmsford, running in a hat-trick of tries.
There was also tries for the quintet of Shaun Smith, Chris Lewis, Henry Cowling, Frazer Beckett and Ben Stanton.
On Saturday, Sudbury will attempt to make it back-to-back wins when they travel to Barking (3pm).