Richie Williams shapes Cambridge Rugby Club coaching team
PUBLISHED: 07:00 18 April 2018
Iliffe Media Ltd
Darren Fox, Darrell Ball and Simon Leader to stay at Volac Park
Richie Williams is putting the finishing touches to his coaching staff at Cambridge Rugby Club for next season.
The incoming head coach, who will replace Ross Stewart, has retained much of the current backroom team for the 2018-19 campaign.
Darren Fox, Simon Leader and Darrell Ball will all continue to shape the playing squad at Volac Park.
Former Northampton Saint and Bedford Blue Fox was a folk hero during his first period as captain at Cambridge, and he has proved equally as popular during his second spell, making the team a much sterner defensive outfit.
“I am looking forward to taking our defence to the next level and improving our breakdown skills,” said 37-year-old Fox.
“We have seen big improvements this year, and we want to keep working towards the top group in the league.”
Leader, 38, will take on the role of backs and skills coach, a position he has previously held with the Belgian national team.
“Cambridge are ambitious in their aims and objectives moving forwards and I am excited to be a part of it,” said Leader.
“I am hoping to develop the attacking flair that we have become known for.”
Ball joined Cambridge this season having had a successful playing career, which included being captain and coach of the British Army, and his work with the Cambridge pack has been noticeable this season.
He said: “Our line-out has improved this season, with the players working hard to make our line-out defence one of our strongest assets.
“I am looking forward to helping the team kick on again next year.”
Player-coach Adam Barnard will be leaving the club though.
On the pitch, Cambridge suffered a 32-22 defeat at home to Esher, which means they have slipped back into the relegation frame in National League One.
Tries from Matt Hema, Rob Conquest and Joe Green, and seven points from the boot of Ben Penfold could not help Cambridge.
They took the lead through a fourth minute penalty, but went behind in the ninth minute and could never get their noses back in front, despite Esher having a player red carded in the 45th minute.
Cambridge are six points above third-from-bottom Loughborough Students, who have a game in hand.