Former Ospreys and Dragons outside half Shaun Connor has been appointed by the Welsh Rugby Union as Performance Skills Coach and will be aligned to the Ospreys region.
Connor, who has coached regional age grade teams at both regions, and was more recently a skills coach within the Dragons senior set-up, will work closely with WRU Regional Performance Manager Andrew Millward. He steps into a role previously carried out by Gruff Rees who is now senior Ospreys backs coach.
WRU National Performance Manager Gethin Watts said: "Shaun will be putting the National Academy philosophy into practice within the Ospreys region. He will be delivering agreed strategic aims for skills delivery in order to ensure that players are given the opportunity to develop their potential at regional and national level. Shaun will work closely with regional and national squad coaches to deliver a skills coaching philosophy and his kicking expertise will certainly form a part of his role."
Connor spent five years as an Ospreys player prior to joining the Dragons in 2008, scoring 490 points for the Liberty Stadium side, and was hugely influential in the region's 24-16 win over Australia in November 2006. He said of the new challenge: "It's all about improving youngsters and I'm really looking forward to playing my part in developing future professional rugby players. I've already enjoyed the coaching roles I've undertaken so far and I'm looking forward to continuing my development as a coach."
Connor will also join Allan Lewis' Wales Under 18 set-up as they prepare for a tour to South Africa as an attached coach. Lewis said: "It's a fantastic opportunity for Shaun and he undoubtedly has a lot to offer to the youngsters of the Ospreys Region and Wales. Gruff (Rees) and Steve Tandy have come through the WRU professional development pathway and are now fully professional Ospreys Regional coaches so the pathway is certainly there for our young coaches."