DINO Radice believes his role as the new head coach of Lancashire Under 17s and 18s could help unearth some rich local talent.
Radice, who has been part of the county set-up for the past three years as backs coach, takes up his new role later this month.
And one of his main aims will be to get more local players in to the Lancashire squad system.
“This is a great opportunity for me but it is also a great opportunity for those players at clubs in this area,” said Radice, who is also player and head coach at Blackburn RUFC.
“I won’t be going directly to those clubs but I will be keeping a keen interest in what is coming out of them.
“Playing for Lancashire is a great honour but it is also a stepping stone to potentially playing at national level.”
Radice first job as the new head coach will be to oversee trials for the Under 17s squad.
In the future, he will be hoping more players from clubs such as Rossendale, Blackburn, Burnley, Clitheroe and Colne and Nelson can pull on the Red Rose shirt.
Rossendale’s Sam Lowthian, who is among the leading scorers in National League Three North since stepping up from Colts rugby, is example of the talent in East Lancashire.
The winger is already a part of the county squad and recently earned trials for the North of England.
“Sam is a smashing player and it would be great to see other like him come up through the ranks,” added Italy-born Radice who is also a coaching consultant back in his native country.
“I worked with a player called Nathan Fowles in the Under 17s and he is now playing for Sale Sharks.
“So that shows what can be achieved.”
Radice has recruited England Sevens player Nick Royle has backs coach while Chris Lowden, a community development coach in the Blackburn area is forwards coach. And having played for Lancashire himself, he knows exactly what is expected.
He added: “I have always had the believe that you don’t have to go to private schools to play for Lancashire. So it would be great to see players come from our local schools and make it at that level.”