KIRKBY Lonsdale's Dave Barton is one of more than 2,000 people to recently qualify as a Level Two rugby coach.

The fly-half was part of a programme which was established to ensure the game in England has enough quality coaches to welcome new players and encourage them to stay within the sport.

It was run by QBE Insurance, in partnership with the Rugby Football Union (RFU), and wanted to recruit and train 2,015 new Level Two coaches.

England head coach Stuart Lancaster said: "The 2,015 new QBE coaches will have a fundamental impact on grassroots rugby in this country. It’s a fantastic initiative and an incredible legacy to leave."

Thanks to QBE’s commitment and investment, the initiative has increased the number of coaches in England by 25 per cent.

The 2,015 coaches trained through the QBE Coaching Club will positively impact 50,000 players across the country.

RFU development director Steve Grainger said: "We put this programme in place back in 2012 because coaching is a crucial factor in developing, sustaining and increasing participation in our sport. With the World Cup here in England the spotlight will be on rugby and we want to ensure that we have enough coaches in place to deal with what we hope will be an influx of new players into rugby."