Just What the ‘Doc” Ordered

Ash Coates has been confirmed as new CS Director of Rugby, Doc Cox’s first appointment – Head Coach for the Combined Services Senior XV 2013.

Ash Coates – New Head Coach for Combined Services XV

When Ash Coates was forced to step away from Head Coach of the Navy Senior XV late last year he felt that the next stage of his ongoing rugby development would be outside the Service environment, with Premiership club Saracens.


Doc Cox, CS DoR, has invited Ash to be the new CS HEad Coach.

Unable to commit to a full season of coaching due to work commitments as Executive Officer on board HMS Blazer but determined to stay involved with first class rugby Ash had already arranged to return to Saracens where he used to be one of their analysts.  His new role with the successful Aviva Premiership team was to head up a project utilising performance analysis to improve player recruitment.  An innovative initiative, typical of the progressive North London club.  This he will still be doing but with the Navy taking over the running of Combined Services, on rotation, from the Royal Air Force he also received an unexpected call from new CS DoR Doc Cox.  Agreed by phone and confirmed at yesterday’s CS Manco, Ash will coach the CS team for the 2013 Remembrance Day match and any associated warm up matches.


It is a remarkable progression that sees Ash reunited with Doc, albeit in different roles.  In 2007 Ash supported Doc as his performance analyst when Doc was Head Coach of the successful 07 Navy U23 team.  They again worked together within the Senior XV set up before Doc departed due to operational tours.  Last season saw Ash step up as Head Coach of the Senior XV; a season which included some notable early successes and the development of a number of younger players.  His second season started on the perfect note with an impressive opening win against the Kiwis in the 2012 Commonwealth Cup.  A routine win over the Aussies retained the cup and should have been the springboard for Ash to take the team into the 2013 Inter Services, before his ship’s programme revised the plans.

Ash Coates with the ‘Navy Contingent’ at Pontypridd RFC for the 2012 Remembrance Day match


The CS opportunity seems just the tonic to keep Ash involved with the Service scene without the heavy demands of taking a representative team through a full Inter Service campaign.  He is already well known and respected by both the RAF and Army teams and coaches following two successful seasons on the CS coaching team and a number of year’s collaborative work in terms of analysis.

Ash on board HMS Victory with Greg Barden when they were nominated by the RN Sports Control Board for Official of the Year and Sportsman of the Year respectively.


Ash Coates Short Bio

Navy Rugby Senior XV Head Coach – 2011 – 2012

Navy Senior XV Performance Analyst – 2007 – 2011

Navy Rugby Head of Performance Analysis – 2007 – 2011

Combined Services Coach – 2011 – 2012

Head Coach – HMS Collingwood

Plus numerous coaching support stints with the various RN representatives teams, Portsmouth Command Rugby and Portsmouth Naval Base (including taken them to this year’s Navy Cup Final)

Civilian coaching has included Saracens RFC, Rosslyn Park RFC, US Portsmouth RFC and Spalding RFC

Ash Coates in determined mood during the 2009 Commonwealth Cup training camp.
… again showing the determination that helped him to get to ‘the top of the tree’.


One Response

  1. John Walton
    | Reply

    Very pleased to see Ash continue to be involved with Services rugby.
    The mix of Doc and Ash has worked very well in the past and I am sure with their experience and drive will be so again.
    Good fortune and enjoy gents

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