With rugby becoming an increasingly popular scholarship choice in the US, it’s our pleasure to welcome Jon Phillips, or JP as he likes to be known, into the FirstPoint Elite Scout family. JP has had an incredible career as a rugby player, representing Premiership champions Northampton Saints for a record 350 games, including their European cup winning side in 2000. Not content with that, he then went on to play a further 100 games for Championship side Bedford Blues during a 3 year period winning the Powergen cup in 2005.
Following retirement JP took on the role as Director of Sport for Moulton College for 14 year helping to develop an athletic and academic pathway for talented young sports men and women looking to play professional sport.
JP says “Coaching and player development is very much a part of what makes me tick. When Ian (Ian Hunter, FirstPoint USA’s Strategic Partner) first approached me about the role as an ‘Elite’ scout I jumped at the chance". He goes on to say “I have taken up a number of coaching roles within the county and DPP academy system from U16 through to U20’ and see talented players week in week out not achieve their dreams of becoming a professional. FirstPoint gives me the platform to provide what I see as a coach’s duty of care – a chance to tell players that there are alternative options to continue playing a high level of rugby whilst undertaking a graduate course… plus the bonus of receiving funding towards it”.
Dean Kelbrick, FirstPoint USA’s Head of Partnerships and Scouting says. “When I heard JP was joining us, I was over the moon. His experience of playing as a professional rugby player and the work he has done at Moulton College on both academic and athletic pathways is a perfect match for us”.
JP is currently Head of Rugby for Tresham College and amazingly at the ripe old age of 46, still puts his boots on and runs out for Oundle RFC.