Blundell’s School announces new Director of Rugby Tony Yapp

We are delighted to announce our new Director of Rugby - Mr Tony Yapp. Tony’s role at Blundell’s will commence in the Summer Term 2023.

Tony had a professional playing career that spanned 12 years, his clubs included Bedford Blues, Worcester Warriors, and Exeter Chiefs. He also represented England Under 21’s, England A, and the Barbarians, finishing his playing career with over 3000 points to his name!

After a successful playing career, Tony turned his hand to coaching and has been a professional rugby coach since 2009.

He started coaching at Exeter University in 2003, alongside his playing career at Exeter Chiefs, and he subsequently took on roles at Blundell’s School in 2009 and Taunton Titans in 2010. Tony was appointed as head coach of the Titans in 2012, and he has guided them to promotion to National League One, the highest level that the club has ever played at. Tony also spent 5 years as the England Women Under 20’s kicking coach.

As one of the founding members of ‘School of Kicking’, he also works as a specialist kicking coach and is mentored by one of the best high-performance coaches in the world, Dave Alred MBE.

Rugby certainly runs in the Yapp family, with Sister Jo gaining 70 England caps which included 3 World Cups. She has also been prominent in the coaching world having coached Exeter University, England Ladies Under 20’s and Worcester Warriors Women in the Premiership 15’s.

Growing up, Tony competed in a wide range of sports including Tetrathlon and Horse Riding at international age grade level. He is now married and the father of two, and away from Rugby still enjoys Shooting, Golf and Swimming.

Tony commented - “Blundell’s has already been a big part of my life, having coached rugby at the school since 2009, so to get the opportunity to take over from the great work done by Ed Saunders and Simon Johnson, and continue to build the rugby programme is a challenge I am really excited about.

My passion as a coach is to create opportunities at various levels which are available to all pupils, to support their rugby journeys and create positive memories that will last their lifetime”.

Mr Ed Saunders, Deputy Head Co-curricular, said “Tony has done a fantastic job as our professional rugby coach over the last 14 years, and with his experience as a Director of Rugby at Taunton Titans it is fabulous to have such an experienced and knowledgeable person to take on the reins of Director of Rugby at Blundell’s. It is an exciting, interesting but perhaps difficult time for rugby at a school level, but we know that Tony is the best person to lead Blundell’s rugby through its next stage of development for pupils of all levels.”