England World Cup winner Kyran Bracken is doing his best to bolster his country’s scrum-half options as his three sons have all followed their father into the No9 position that brought him 51 caps in a ten-year Test career. Bracken is watching his sons set off on their own rugby adventures, admitting that it could create an interesting rivalry in the future with all three opting for the scrum-half role. 


A member of the 2003 World Cup-winning England squad, Bracken has used his experience and skills over the years as a No9 expert to help the careers of Leicester’s Ben Youngs and Danny Care at Harlequins, but his latest coaching assignment is light years away from the Gallagher Premiership.

Bracken has agreed to become backs coach at Wanstead, who play in London 2 North-East, alongside Kiwi head coach Jeremy Walmsley with both men also coaching the St Albans school first XV. Running in parallel with his coaching work, the 48-year-old is keeping a close eye on the progress of sons Charlie, Jack and Lochlan.

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Charlie is already in the Saracens system, the club where his father enjoyed so much success, and Jack is also following the same pathway. ”Charlie is 16, with the Saracens academy and doing well,” said Bracken to RugbyPass.

“My middle son Jack is two years younger and is also on the Saracens course and my youngest son Lochlan, who is 11, is playing a year up and is outstanding. I haven’t really thought this through because I don’t think it is wise to have them all at the same club. I think I will have to farm them out!

“The lads started out at fly-half or a centre and then moved to scrum-half, learning from me passing the ball, and it made sense. Charlie has a better pass than me now off both hands. 


“We have seen a spike of sons coming through following their fathers into the game and it will be interesting to see if any of them make it. If they are lucky enough to make it they will probably have to go elsewhere.”

Former England No9 Bracken, who showcases his scrum-half skills on the @Ruckit_podcast with former England No8 Nick Easter, acknowledged that the demands on a scrum-half at the highest level have increased, claiming that All Black Aaron Smith is an outstanding example of what is needed to succeed in the modern era. 

“The game has changed for a scrum-half, particularly in terms of fitness because the ball in play longer and you tend to move side to side. The skill level required, having to get a box kick on the money with guys trying to charge you down means it is getting harder and harder. 

“If you look at Antoine Dupont for France and Aaron Smith in New Zealand, they are crucial with everything revolving around them. I just wish other scrum-halves would look at Smith’s game and see how gets the ball away, and the Japanese No9s are a breath of fresh air. 


“I will try and improve the scrum-halves at Wanstead and their skill levels, but coaching is a hobby for me rather than making a career out of it. I did specialist coaching with Saracens. Then Leicester got me up to work with Ben Youngs and at Harlequins with Danny Care over a five- or six-year period.

“I really enjoy helping at St Albans school where my boys go and I work with Jeremy who asked if I would do sessions at Wanstead. Jeremy wants to play like the Highlanders and I want to be a bit more pragmatic.”

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