RUGBY: New coaching structure for Saints

Rugby St Andrews first team captain Matthew Butlin is not seeking re-election after two years in the role  (Picture by David Leathley)
Rugby St Andrews first team captain Matthew Butlin is not seeking re-election after two years in the role (Picture by David Leathley)

Changes at John Tomalin Way ready for new season

Rugby St Andrews will be starting the 2015/16 season with a new coaching structure as long-serving Wayne Morgan has confirmed his move to Kenilworth.

Wayne leaves with the thanks of the club for his unstinting efforts and best wishes for success at Kenilworth.

Craig Jones, former first fifteen captain and assistant coach, returns from a short stint at Southam to take charge of the forwards once again.

Alex Williams, who came through Saints junior section to make his mark at County and National league level with Nuneaton, will be taking up the position of backs and conditioning coach.

Matthew Butlin, inspirational first team captain for the last two years, will not be seeking re-election due to family and work commitments so there will be new faces across the board, except for club stalwart Alan Parish, who will continues as coaching coordinator and on field back up to Alex and Craig.

Dean Smith, Rugby’s 2014 ‘Coach of the Year’, will be taking his highly successful team, unbeaten for the last two years, into Colts rugby.

He is looking to expand his squad in anticipation of a demanding first season in the Warwickshire under 18 Merit League.

There will be a Colts launch evening on Saturday, July 4 and any potential players are welcome to come along and see what is being planned for this new challenge.

Last season’s promotion bid stalled when a long injury list led to a couple of narrow losses after victories over the two teams who subsequently gained promotion.

Player welfare and injury prevention will be priorities this year.

Club sports therapist, Natalie Evans, will be working with the University of Bath on their ‘CRISP’ injury prevention and monitoring scheme and will be preparing individual programmes for players.

A custom built and equipped physio room is currently under construction to support this initiative.

Saints will continue in the highly competitive East Midlands South league where they will renew rivalries with relegated Stewarts and Lloyds and promoted Old Newtonians.

There will be interesting first encounters with newcomers St Neots and Dunstablians to add to the local derbies with Long Buckby and Daventry.

Pre-season training for seniors is already under way at Ashlawn Road on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 7pm.

New players are always welcome to come along and join in at any session.