Highlanders spring a surprise with new attack coach
NEWS: Richard Whiffin has been handed the attack portfolio for the Highlanders in 2023.
Formerly of the London Irish club, Whiffin was a member of the management team that steered the club to a Champions Cup semifinal in 2008 and a Premiership final in 2009. Highlander’s current head coach, Clarke Dermody, was also involved in that final as a player for London Irish.
Whiffin became the club’s attack coach in 2010, developing an exciting style of play before heading to Gloucester in 2016 to implement a development plan for the club’s academy players.
His flair for attack was recognised in 2018 when he joined the England U20 coaching group to lead the attack and backs.
In May 2019 he joined the ScarletscClub and again was tasked with directing the team’s attacking play where he worked alongside former Highlander’s defence coach, Glenn Delaney. Whiffin led the club to be among the top try scoring teams in the PRO14 over the last few years.
Whiffin will be in the country for the Women’s Rugby World Cup this month as a member of the Welsh coaching team and is eager to experience coaching in the Super Rugby Pacific competition.
“Super Rugby has always been a huge part of my rugby education, from watching on TV as a child to studying the competition as a coach, so to get the opportunity to coach in the competition is a massive privilege that I am really grateful to the Highlanders for. I am really looking forward to getting down to Dunedin and experiencing all that it has to offer.
“The Highlanders have always had a great tradition of fast-paced, expansive rugby and I look forward to adding to that and working with the coaching group and players to excite our fans.”
“But for now my priority is on preparing Wales Women for the Rugby World Cup starting with Scotland on the weekend.”
Head Coach Clarke Dermody has welcomed Whiffin’s arrival.
“I worked with Richard when I was player and was impressed by his abilities then, he has since gone on to do a great deal more in some of the toughest competitions in Europe. His experiences with Gloucester, the Scarlets, England U20s and the Welsh Women’s team will no doubt add to our environment. While his portfolio is attack his background suggests he has the ability to get the best out of our players and get them to improve their all-round game.”