Our Team

Benji John - Founder and Lead Coach

Benji is the founder, owner and lead coach of PackDown Rugby and has had a cumulative involvement in rugby as a player and coach for 17 years. Benji is a qualified RFU Level 3 Coach, has a 1st Class Honours Degree in Rugby Coaching and Performance from the University of South Wales and is a Qualified Teacher. Benji has had coaching experience across various Performance Pathway Environments at Bath Rugby and Wasps Academy, at both Universities in Bath, has been lead forwards coach for the Somerset/Dorset/Wiltshire U15/U16 and has spent the last two years at Millfield School specialising in the delivery of Rugby Union. As a player Benji has represented both Bath Rugby Academy and Newport Gwent Dragons Academy as a youth player and represented both Cross Keys and Bridgend Ravens in the Welsh Premiership. Benji is renowned for his high-end technical detail when delivering to forwards and specialises in the set piece facet of the game.

Daniel Gaywood - Backs Specialist

Daniel is currently a level 2 RFU Qualified Coach working as an Attack and Kicking strategist with Bristol Bears Women’s, competing in the Tyrells 15s Premiership. Prior to working with Bristol Bears, Daniel spent time as a Backs and Skills coach within a number of Academy environments, including’s SGS Filton U18s and Cardiff Blues U16s, which he was able to balance alongside his studies, both at undergrad and Masters level, recently completing an MSc in Sports Coaching and Performance in September 2019, at the University of South Wales.

James Vecchio - Forwards Specialist

James has played at a semi-professional level since leaving university, spending two years at King Edwards School Birmingham as a rugby specialist. Within this time James was involved in the Warwickshire County Pathway as well as gaining experience coaching at Bath Rugby. While at University James was heavily involved in the Cardiff Metropolitan woman’s program and gained professional coaching qualifications and a First Class BsC Honours degree in Sports Coaching.

Fin White - Kicking and Backs Specialist

Fin is a Sports Coaching BSc graduate and RFU Level 2 coach specialising in kicking comes with a variety of experiences having played National League Rugby, County level and at Leeds Beckett University RFC, and has coaching i a number of contexts, including abroad in Perth, with the women's freshers and development squats at Leeds Beckett University RFC, shadowing professional kicking coaches such as Ryan Davis and Colin Stephens and most recently worked at Dallaglio Rugby Works.    

George Tavner

George joins the team after leaving Bath Rugby as the Assistant Academy Manager and Coach Development Manager where he spent 6 seasons. George has a wealth of experience being involved in elite and professional environments for the past fifteen years. George is a Level 4 qualified coach and is one of the leading player development coaches in the country. George has various high level qualifications that adds to his high end credentials including; BSc Sports Coaching, MA Sports Development and Coaching, Level 3 Award in Mentoring. Across the fifteen years that George has been involved in professional rugby he has been Head of Rugby at Filton College (one of the leading rugby development centres in the country), Director of Rugby at University of West England as well as his major role that he had with Bath Rugby. Throughout the time that George has been a coach he has had over 100 players graduate out of his programs turned to the professional game including; Taulupe Faletau, Adam Hastings, Zach Mercer, Andy Uren, Joe Joyce, Jake Polledri, Gabriel Oghre and Gabe Hammer Webb to just name a few.