Richie's Rugby Roundup
24 Jul 20
During the off season, we have been working extremely hard to create a better playing and coaching pathway across the club. Greater emphasis will be placed on our player development models. With this in mind, we have been able to align our senior teams and look at our current transition pathway from colts to senior rugby. An experienced coaching and management team will help drive this process.
The Wanderers welcome a new coaching team. Buckinghamshire Community Rugby Coach and South West U18’s coach Alan Lane will be supported by new coaches Jack Moran and Simon Thomas. For me, these are all significant appointments. The levels of experience within this coaching team are second to none. We are placing a lot of importance this season on providing an environment in which we can develop players to become regular 1st XV players. The squad will be considerably younger than it has been in the past, but I am confident that we have the right mix of knowledge and experience to make this team very successful. Alan Lane is supported by current head of rugby at The Leys School, Simon Thomas. A highly qualified coach that has a talent for player development. As a club, we would like to be better at engaging with the local schools in the area, they are fantastic assets. The Leys is one of the most respected schools in the UK and we see the appointment of Simon as a real step in the right direction. The final coach to compliment the team is Level 4 coach Jack Moran. Jack joins us from his previous role as Head of Rugby at Denstone College in Staffordshire. Jack and his wife are moving to Norfolk in the summer to take up new roles. Jack comes with a high level of coaching experience after working with Leicester Tigers Academy. I spoke to Jack in February and we both share the same ideas of how we think rugby should be played. Everyone that I have spoken to about Jack have all expressed how impressed they are with his technical knowledge and appetite to develop.
The 3rd XV welcome back a club legend to their coaching team. Ex 1st XV captain and scrum half Stef Liebenberg settles into a new coaching role where he will be supporting Darren Messenger and Toby White. Stef was instrumental in a lot of the success that the club has had in the past, and it is great to have such an experienced and charismatic character return. He has a real affinity with the club and both his boys play mini rugby here on a Sunday. We are very privileged to have 3 club greats working together and are excited by the future opportunities on and off the field. We want to ensure that our rugby provision caters for everyone, and these new appointments will support our vision. Rugby Management Team Announcement
Our Colts team this season will be headed up by 1st XV second row and centurion Rob Conquest and supported by 1st XV player and new signing Marc Koteczky. They will be tasked with ensuring a positive transition from age grade to senior rugby. Rob will look to continue his excellent work from last season which has already seen players like Callum Hall making the successful transition into the senior team. This age group sits at an important level in our playing pathway and we want to continue to provide a positive environment that challenges and supports our players.
The final group of players that were a revelation last year, were the Vipers. This September we will be welcoming a new cohort onto our BTEC Rugby Academy and these players will combine with our 12 students who will be entering into their 2nd and final year. This program will again be led by Ben Penfold and Rob Conquest. We are already seeing the positive impact of this academy both from a physical and mental perspective. 2 of the students, Luke Hare and Ryan Curtis have already begun training with the senior team.
In addition to the coaching teams, we also place great emphasis on our support staff. We want to give our players the best possible environment to develop and see the significance of player welfare in driving on field performances. Please see an extended list of all staff below:
- Team Managers- Tracey Baxter, Ian Whitby and Dick Wallin
- Head of Medical- Paul Carter
- S&C Lead- Ben Fitches
- Physiotherapist and Sports Massage- Mollie Messenger
- Sports Science- Tom Sully and Jack Thoroughgood
- Rehab- Louis Rawlings
- Head Analyst- Carrick Blake
- Team Support- Mick Collard
- Sports Nutrition- Jo Hopkins
- Player Welfare- Simon Bailey
Listen below to Richie speak with Steve Jackson about the various appointments