Wales Rugby League



New Wales Students coaching staff appointed

23rd March 2018, 11:52

New Wales Students coaching staff appointed

Former Wales international Paul Emanuelli has been appointed the new head coach of Wales Students Rugby League.

Paul Emanuelli and Latham Tawhai at last year's World Cup


The 34-year old will lead Wales Students through to the 2021 World Cup in England.

He replaces Latham Tawhai who steps down after coaching Wales in the last two World Cups.

Emanuelli is a veteran of the game in Wales having been involved in the game in a variety of playing and coaching roles since 2005, the highlight being his two caps for the full national side in 2014.

Currently playing his rugby league at Coventry Bears joining them in the latter stages of the 2017 season. He previously represented Valley Cougars, Blackwood Bulldogs, Celtic Crusaders Colts, South Wales Hornets and of course South Wales Scorpions where his 282 points in 77 games made him the top points scorer in the history of the club.

Internationally, in addition to his full caps, he represented Wales Dragonhearts, Welsh Select and most recently Wales Students in last years World Cup.

Already an established coach, he’s already headed up the South Wales academy and reserve grade sides, Wales Dragonhearts and Wales under 18s. He also served as assistant coach of the Scorpions first team for three years from 2015-17. 

He will be assisted by his Coventry Bears team-mate, the Newport-born full Italian International, Chris Vitalini.

The 30-year old previously played for Celtic Crusaders, South Wales Scorpions and Gloucestershire All Golds as well as winning under 19 caps for Wales, where on his international debut he directly opposed an up and coming youngster for Australia called Israel Folau. He has previously coached at Newport Titans RLFC and in the Welsh schools’ game.

The final appointment see’s Rhondda Outlaws’ David Albertelli appointed as Team Manager, Albertelli is no stranger to Wales Rugby League’s representative programs having filled the same role with the under 23’s side in the recent Rugby League Commonwealth Championship in Brisbane.

Wales v Ireland in last year's Student World Cup

Emanuelli said: “I’m really pleased to have been given the opportunity to head up the Welsh Students programme over the next four years. 

“This year is going to be a huge challenge as we are probably a bit late in starting and we’ll need to do a lot of work before we host this year’s Four Nations.

“I’m looking forward to working with David and Chris, it’s Chris’s first national coaching opportunity and I’m hoping I can help him develop as a coach.

“After going to the Student World Cup last year as a player, I realise the challenges that lie ahead and I’m excited to get going. 

“Mark Jones, the previous team manager, and Latham Tawhai have both done brilliant jobs so I know we’ve got a big task ahead to continue on from their work.

“It’s great to get back involved with rugby league in Wales.”

The selection process for this years Student Home Nations will begin with an open trial at Monmouth RFC (postcode NP25 3DG) on Sunday 22nd April from noon -3pm. To register please send your name, date of birth, contact details, the name of your current college or university (and club if applicable) as well as previous sides represented to no later than Wednesday 18th April.

To qualify for Wales Students you must be a full or part-time student in the current academic year and have one or more of the following qualifications…

  • Be Welsh born
  • Have a Welsh parent or grandparent
  • Lived in Wales for over five years
  • Studying at a Welsh college or university