New-look coaching team to guide Cambridge Rugby Club
Different structure for National League One campaign
Cambridge Rugby Club will have a new-look coaching team for the National League One season.
With the departures of Jack Heald, to become director of rugby at Leicester Lions, and Dan Seal, to take up a coaching role at Bedford Swifts, Cambridge director of rugby Ross Stewart has revamped his staff.
Darren Fox has returned as player-coach, supporting the forwards. Stewart will be active in delivery as director of rugby and head coach, while Adam Barnard remains backs’ coach.
Simon Leader, Belgium’s backs and attack coach, worked with the second team last year, but will now have more involvement with the first team, and Darrell Ball has come in from Peterborough Lions to support the line-out and help Leader with the second team on matchdays.
“The thing is for me is that we all bring slightly different things to the table and that’s going to be the challenge for us all, drawing on the strength of each person,” said Stewart.
“One of the things I’ve said to the players is about challenging what we do, and I think as a coaching group we need to challenge each other a little bit more and perhaps ask why a bit more.
“We’ve got a set-up that for me is exciting. It’s young, there are not the big names – it’s not bringing people in that Joe Public know – but for me it’s about bringing people in that actually add value and real knowledge.”
Stewart believes that Fox will have a crucial role at the club, similar to his first stint at the club as captain.
“There has been a lot of talk about what Darren will bring to the team, but I think people underestimate his knowledge – not just knowledge of the game but coaching and delivery of people,” said Stewart.
“He is a real people person. Yes, he demands high standards and is no thrills at times, but I think there is a lot more to him than that.
“He understands what it’s like to be a young lad trying to work your way into an adult team and he has been coached by some of the top coaches in the world, like Wayne Smith at Saints.”