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UCLA Adds International Experience To Coaching Staff

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UCLA Adds International Experience To Coaching Staff

Alex Corbisiero, left, works with UCLA forwards, and Adam Ashe, right, in action for Scotland. Photos UCLA Rugby and INPHO-Craig Watson.

The UCLA men's rugby program has signed on two high-profile assistant coaches to help the program going forward.

After bringing in new Head Coach Dave Clancy in 2020—New UCLA Coach Ready To Build On Past—the Bruins are bolstering their coaching staff with former England and British & Irish Lion Alex Corbisiero and former Scotland 15s and 7s player Adam Ashe.

After a year of team sessions on Zoom, the team might be getting on the field soon, so now's the time to name their assistants. Corbisiero first came to US rugby notice when he played for a select side of overseas-based American high schoolers, remained in the UK to play professionally and try for a place with the England team. He accomplished that, earned over 30 caps at prop for England, and also suited up for the Lions in 2013. He is now the rugby analyst for NBC Sports, living in the LA area and thus being right on UCLA's doorstep. 

Ashe is from Glasgow and played six times for Scotland and in seven tournaments for the Scotland 7s team. He has signed with the LA Giltinis of Major League Rugby. Corbisiero has already been advising the Bruins via Zoom on scrum and ruck technique. He is doing so while handling duties as a lead rugby commentator for NBC Sports and advising the Giltinis as they prep for their first season in the MLR. 

“Corbs has been a transformational addition to the coaching team," Clancy said. "He’s technically one of the best scum coaches I’ve seen and changed what was an area of weakness to a strength in a matter of weeks. More impressive was the infectious energy he brought to the group, in particular the forwards who couldn’t believe their luck to have someone of his caliber passionately engaged with them” 

Ashe will play loose forward for the Giltinis, and at UCLA will help with the forwards and the backs. Adam has spent time under some of the best coaches in the world, such as Gregor Townsend (Scotland), Dave Rennie (Australia), and Scott Roberston (Canterbury Crusaders). 

"From talking to Adam I know he will be a passionate and energetic addition who adds another dimension to our coaching expertise in specialist areas," said Clancy. 

These coaching additions are part of a wider initiative led by the team's alumni association to expand the club's endowment to match those of the nation's premier programs. In 2020 the UCLA Rugby Alumni Association led a three-month xampaign that raised over $100,000.