Mark Regan MBE squeezed a trip to the North West into his preparations for leading the Barbarians to victory over World Champions South Africa when he launched the Fylde RFC Academy at The Woodlands on Friday, November 30.
The Bristol and England hooker spoke at a highly successful fund raising lunch for the Academy attended by a sell-out 150 person audience of business leaders and rugby enthusiasts.
Ahead of Mark Regan's question and answer session, Fylde's Chairman Mike Brennand spoke about the importance of the Academy to the future of the club and also to the development of young talent in Lancashire.
The Academy is sponsored by BlueSpot Knee Clinic, whose principal Shameem Sampath, was present at the Lunch.
Around 60 Under 14 and Under 15 players nominated by local schools will be going through an in-depth assessment programme today at the Woodlands, with the players selected for subsequent in-depth coaching and skill development will be the first intake to Academy programme.
Fylde Club have assembled a high quality team of coaches to put these young players through their paces.
Led by Fylde's Director of Rugby Matt Emmerson, the team includes former Sale Sharks Premiership coach Mark Nelson, Academy Manager Alan Holmes, new Rugby Development Officer and Lancashire U18s coach Dave Wilks and specialist kicking coach Steve Gough, another former Fylde favourite.
Matt Emmerson said: "We're starting with the U14 and U15 age group following a serious consideration of priorities.
"I've had discussions with a number of leading coaches and our view is that if we concentrate on these age groups we'll have the time to help them develop them into excellent players by the time they reach adult rugby.
"We have to take a long term perspective if this programme is to succeed."