Mark in Twickenham guard of honour

Mark Jackson, a coach at Percy Park RFC, at Twickenham. Picture by Andrew Fosker / Seconds Left Images
Mark Jackson, a coach at Percy Park RFC, at Twickenham. Picture by Andrew Fosker / Seconds Left Images

A coach from Percy Park RFC was part of a guard of honour at Twickenham on Saturday for the England v France international.

Mark Jackson was one of the QBE coaches who welcomed the England players onto the pitch in front of a packed stadium for England’s 100th game against France.

Jackson first tried his hand at coaching after watching his son’s team play.

He felt he had a lot to offer from the sidelines so decided to take up coaching.

He decided to join the QBE Coaching Club in order to help his development as a coach and to enable him to take on more senior sides as his son grew older.

Jackson is now in charge of the U15 side at Percy Park, as well as managing both the U15s and U16s at county level for Northumberland.

He said, “It was incredible to be able to be a part of such an amazing day at Twickenham.

“It is a fantastic honour to be chosen to form the guard of honour recognising community coaches in England.

“The QBE Coaching Club has really helped me improve as a coach, giving me new ideas and a confidence to encourage the boys to play head-up, attacking rugby.”

The guard of honour was formed from 16 recently qualified Level 2 coaches from the QBE Coaching Club – a joint initiative between QBE Insurance and the Rugby Football Union (RFU).

QBE Insurance invited the coaches to form the guard of honour on the pitch to celebrate the initiative reaching its milestone of recruiting and training 2,015 new Level 2 rugby coaches.

The England rugby team head coach, Stuart Lancaster said: “The 2,015 new QBE coaches will have a fundamental impact on grassroots rugby in this country. It’s a fantastic initiative and an incredible legacy to leave.”