Lynn Evans: Rugby and Kingham Hill School

Most employers would agree that when interviewing a candidate for a job they want to see that the individual is able to work well in a team, communicate easily, be resilient to challenges, adaptable and prepared to give their all in achieving a common goal. At KHS we believe that rugby can help develop these attributes in all pupils, regardless of their sporting prowess, whilst also helping them to improve their fitness, relieve stress and have fun with their peers.

The Head of Rugby, Tom Phillips, and the Head Coach, Lynn Evans, have been working hard with the other coaches for the past 3 years to develop an approach to rugby at the school that is inclusive and enjoyable whilst also striving towards high performance and excellence. This is enabled through the concepts derived from “Le Plaisir du Mouvement” (a European coaching philosophy headed by Pierre Villepreux of which Lynn is a key founding creator). This provides maximum participation and prevents endless hours of standing on the side-line. It also challenges each player to consider the limitations of the game and improve their problem solving and tactical awareness of it. 

At over 80 years of age Lynn has spent almost 70 years within the game of rugby as both a player and a coach. His list of coaching credentials is extremely long both in Oxfordshire (with Chinnor Rugby Club, below - far left) as well as nationally.

He attended the first ever RFU coaching course in 1964 and was a leading coach for the Penguins (UK) International Coaching Group which took him around the world to countries such as Japan, Russia, China, USA, Malaysia, Canada, South Africa and Dubai. He remains an advisor and mentor to the RFU whilst also working upon a series of publications (including a biography) which should be ready to print very soon. In 2012 he was the recipient of the RFU’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Coaching Excellence but certainly shows no sign of hanging up his boots any time soon. 

His concepts and vision have influenced countless other coaches, with the England U18 and U20s coach being a firm advocate of his work. His aim is to challenge players to think for themselves and gain a greater understanding of rugby whilst also having the opportunity to develop their own leadership skills. Combined with Mr Phillip’s passion for developing an effective ethos, discipline and commitment (honed through 9 years serving as an Infantry Officer) this approach has seen the Senior Rugby Team go from strength to strength. Last years’ season finished with a 13-2 win to loss ratio and a very successful tour of Lisbon. 

The aim now is to ensure that this approach is adopted throughout the school and to ensure that every single pupil finds pleasure from participating in team sports; it is the school’s motto “In Virum Perfectum” encapsulated on the sports field. Next year Kingham Hill School will host the first ever UK based Plaisir Du Mouvement Rugby Camp with participants and coaches being welcomed from across the country. 

To listen to Lynn Evans talk on the Amateur Rugby Podcast.