Nottingham Rugby

Athlete Career TransitionUSA 7's Rugby

Nottingham Rugby are a fully-professional rugby union club, currently playing in the Green King IPA Championship, which is the second tier of English rugby. The ‘Green and Whites’ as they are affectionately known, finished the 2014-15 season in fifth place, just missing out on a play-off place, where the winning team goes into the top flight of English rugby.

The club has also been a breaking ground for Premiership and international players over the years throughout its long history.

Founded in 1877, Nottingham RFC have recently moved to The Bay, where a high quality rugby club environment is being developed.

The challenge

The club has seen a number of personnel changes for the 2016-17 season and needed support with certain people development opportunities.

Some of the players within the group were relatively new to the club and the head coach, Ian Costello, was in his first season with Nottingham RFC after joining from Munster Rugby. The club needed to identify a new club Captain from their Player Leadership Group initiative and also wanted to look at how Ian could be integrated quickly and smoothly into the coaching team.

In addition to identifying a new club Captain, they also wanted to look at how the skills within the Leadership Group could be identified and developed to help move the team forward as one unit.

The solution

With a clear focus on identifying and developing leadership, it was established that the High Potential Trait Indicator (HPTI) was going to be of greatest value to the club. The HPTI helps identify leadership potential by exploring a person’s personality traits and provides an insight into how suited they may be for a given job role or position, for example club captain. The assessment is easy, but by completing the it, you'll gain a comprehensive report into the individual's potential. By understanding someone’s personality and how this interacts with a particular function or role, you can work with them to develop their strengths and areas for improvement so they reach their full potential in work to which they are well suited.

The results

Ian Costello says:

“Our aim at Nottingham rugby is to create a positive, player led environment where players set and drive the team values. Within the squad, there is a senior leadership group that are responsible for ensuring that we live these values through our behaviours on and off the pitch. Thomas Sport played a major part in this process, identifying the leadership traits, selecting the most suitable players and providing support for the group to operate as effectively as possible. Within this process we also used the HPTI assessment, underpinned with feedback to identify and appoint the most suitable candidate for club captain.”

The results of using the HPTI as a tool to assist in identifying a new club captain led to the appointment of Matt Everard as club captain.

Ian Costello explains:

Matt displays all the traits and characteristics that you’d want a captain to have in any high-performing team. The players look to him naturally, on and off the pitch and I think his influence is significant in both areas. He has a huge involvement behind the scenes at the club and he’s very supportive and influential with the younger players in the group. On the pitch, he leads by example, has a good presence and communicates well with the referee.

Thomas Sport will now support the Player Leadership Group on the development of self-awareness and understanding how their behaviours impact on those around them. We will also identify the leadership skills they have as a collective group and highlight their strengths and limitations.

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