EXCITED sports fans got the chance to be trained by a top rugby coach in Royal Wootton Bassett, when England's Under-18s coach Russell Earnshaw visited the town to meet sixth form students from Royal Wootton Bassett Academy and two other schools.

Coaches from the three schools and local rugby clubs also learned a thing or two from Russell.

He gave them advice on how to get the best out of the young players and help them develop their sporty skills.

A question-and-answer session followed the hour-long rugby training.

Players and coaches enjoyed picking Russell's brains about his training techniques and what it's like to work with the professional under-18s squad.

Russell said: "Part of my role is to support coaches who interact with kids in a school environment.

"I'm always excited to get out on the pitch and coach, I love it, it's exciting.

"I'm here to help the coaches in terms of understanding , help the kids in their learning and create a good environment for them.

"I'll see what the kids are good at, talk to them about what they've learned and experienced and go from there.

"I've been the under-18s coach for the last three years, with more of an emphasis on this sort of work in the last 12 months."

The session was held at Royal Wootton Bassett Rugby and Football Club.

MadDog Rugby Academies organised the event - they work with Royal Wootton Bassett Academy, Melksham Oak Community School and Park House School to encourage pupils to continue their personal and educational development into sixth-form, using rugby as a foundation.

Alex Burns is head of rugby at the Royal Wootton Bassett Academy.

He said: "Russell has been an integral part of my coaching journey since I first met him in 2013.

"All the Maddog coaches have had the opportunity to learn of Russell through a number of times observing his England U18's environment.

"He is always out visiting various clubs and schools to help with the development of rugby, coaches, players and the values of the Rugby Football Union."

Former England rugby player Lewis Moody set up Maddog almost three years ago.

He said: "Everyone coaches differently and Russell's got a unique style.

"This is a great opportunity to share his knowledge with kids and other coaches and see where the RFU is taking the game.

"It's brilliant because the players get to feel what it's like to be coached by someone who coaches the elite.

"The other coaches will take Russell's methods and find ways to adapt them to their own.

"Coaching a team of pro players is different to coaching a school team of kids with mixed abilities, that has its own challenges."

"The Royal Wootton Bassett Rugby Football Club have been brilliant too, they have let us use their facilities and hosted us today.

"It's all about creating an atmosphere where the youngsters feel like they can develop."

"It engages the wider community through rugby."