Speakers Profile - Ben Darwin

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Ben Darwin is a former Australian rugby union footballer. A graduate of the Australian Institute of Sport scholarship program, he played 28 times for the Wallabies, Australia's national team, from 2001 to 2003. During this time, Darwin played games against the British and Irish Lions and was part of the Wallabies' 2003 Rugby World Cup team. His usual position was tighthead prop, although on occasion he played at Loosehead too.

Darwin made his international debut for Australia in June 2001, coming off the bench against the touring Lions in Brisbane. He also played in the 2001 Tri Nations Series later that year, and was capped against Spain, England, France and Wales. He played in the 2002 Tri Nations Series, as well as being capped another four times during the end of year tour. He played 11 times for Australia in 2003, and was included in the 2003 World Cup squad. It was during the Wallabies' World Cup semi-final win against the All Blacks that Darwin sustained a neck injury that forced him to retire from rugby.

After retirement, Darwin made the switch from player to coach, starting at club rugby level with Sydney's Norths where he was appointed head coach in 2005. In 2006, Darwin was involved with the start up of the Super 14 club, the Western Force, as the Forwards Coach until mid-2006. In 2007, Darwin was selected to be a part of the commentary team covering the 2007 Rugby World Cup in France for the Australian television network, Channel 10. Whilst he France, Darwin was also in training for his first Iron Man triathlon, which he completed in Port Macquarie in April 2008. He finished his second Iron Man, again at Port Macquarie, the following year.

At the beginning of June 2008, Darwin moved to Tokyo, Japan, where he served as the Forwards Coach for the Japanese Top League Rugby team, the NTT Shining Arcs, a team owned by Japanese telecommunications giant NTT. Darwin was integral to the club's promotion from the 2nd Division Top East competition to Top League at the end of the 09/10 season. At the beginning of 2010, Darwin was married and returned shortly after where Darwin to took up the Scrum Coach/Video Analyst position for the Melbourne Rebels Super Rugby franchise team.

Darwin also writes regular columns on rugby matters for www.rugbyzone.com and is still in training for various triathlon competitions.

His new company “Gain Line” is an analytics company which has provided a new insight into the making of great teams.

Ben's years of playing and coaching experience gives him the necessary skills to be the RaboDirect Rebels' Performance Analyst. This year Ben will also be working with Matt Cockbain as a scrum coach