News and comment from around the clubs and what the papers say.
Cornish Pirates, Doncaster Knights, Leeds Carnegie, Moseley, Plymouth Albion and Rotherham Titans.
Centre Sam Hill and back-rower Dave Ewers - who return for another season - will be joined by Jack Nowell, a full-back/centre and product of the Pirate’s youth section.
Sam Hill made a terrific impression last season, making 23 appearances in the centre. He also appeared for Exeter Chiefs and played 8 games for England Under 20s including the IRB Junior World Championship.
Talented and powerful back-rower Dave Ewers also impressed in his 18 appearances last season and played in both legs of the RFU Championship final with London Welsh.
Jack Nowell is a product of the Pirate’s youth section and has played for England at 18 group level. See England Honours For Jack & Luke
A full-back/centre, he is currently recovering from a knee injury, having been dual registered with Plymouth Albion last season.
Commenting on signing the talented trio on dual-registration forms, Cornish Pirates CEO Rod Coward said: “We’re delighted to be able to continue our relationship with Exeter Chiefs; a relationship which allows talented youngsters invaluable, competitive game time.
To have Dave Ewers and Sam Hill back at the Pirates is a huge boost and an added bonus is to see local product Jack Nowell who I’m sure will be warmly welcomed by our supporters.”
Coached by former Castle Park favourite Russell Earnshaw, the Great Britain team beat South Africa 35-17 in the final after posting a 26-14 win over them in the pool stages..
“I really believe that Sevens is adding an extra dimension to my game” said Mama,“and it is great for my development. I am sure what I have learnt and will hopefully continue to learn will benefit me for the season to come with Doncaster.”
Full Story www.thestar.co.uk
McGeechan has accepted the opportunity to return ‘home’ to Yorkshire and, succeeding Paul Caddick at the Championship Rugby Union club with immediate effect.
The former Scotland and British & Irish Lions Head Coach only played for one club during his 16-season-playing career, Headingley RFC, who merged with Roundhay RUFC in 1992 to form the Leeds club.
Proud of his Yorkshire roots, he will return to Headingley Carnegie in an Executive position to head up the Rugby Union club working with Director of Rugby Chris Gibson and Head Coach Diccon Edwards on a number of key initiatives to build a sustainable and successful future for the Yorkshire club.
Departing Chairman Paul Caddick commented, “I am delighted that Sir Ian McGeechan has accepted this new position with the club. The Board of Directors have always looked to make decision to continually move the club forward and I believe this appointment is one of the most significant signings we have ever made.
I will continue to be a major supporter of the club in my role as Chairman of Leeds Rugby and look forward to welcoming Ian home for the new season.”
Commenting on the appointment, Chief Executive Gary Hetherington said, “Sir Ian McGeechan is someone who is admired and respected throughout the sporting world. He has played and coached at the very highest levels across the eras in Rugby Union from the amateur days, the transition to the professional game and in modern times at Wasps, Gloucester and Bath.
“Ian will have a number of key objectives that are not focused on coaching that he will be aiming to deliver on as we look to strengthen our business and fulfil our potential by returning to the Premiership.
As well as his obvious rugby expertise, Ian will also work closely with our Commercial Director Rob Oates and Business Development Manager John Bentley to attract new sponsors and partners to the club.
Although he is well known for his connections to Scotland and the Lions, he is a passionate Yorkshireman and importantly passionate about Rugby Union in Yorkshire and his addition to our Board of Directors is a major boost to the county,” added Hetherington.
More At www.leedscarnegie.com
He replaces Craig West who has stepped down from direct coaching responsibilities due to increasing business commitments.
Hilton joins Moseley from Dings Crusaders where he started his coaching career with responsibility for the forwards. He soon established his credentials and was promoted to Head Coach in 2011.
In addition to his coaching duties he also managed twenty-one appearances for Dings 1st XV in the front row - earning himself selection to The Rugby Paper’ s National 2 Dream Team last season in the process.
Hilton will be best known for the 42 Scotland caps he gained in an international career which included two World Cups and a win the 6 Nations Championship in 1999. On the domestic front Dave has played for Bath, with whom he lifted the Heineken Cup in 1998, Glasgow and Bristol collecting league and domestic cup titles along the way.
Moseley Head Coach Kevin Maggs said “We are delighted to have Dave on board. He will bring valuable experience and expertise to the forwards and in particular will help to develop the exciting potential in several of the new signings.
Appreciative thanks must also go to Craig West who has been extremely supportive and helpful during my first season as Head Coach”.
However, Lewsey is not re-joining Albion full-time, but continuing his teaching job in Abu Dhabi.
Saumi says the plan is that Lewsey will stay registered with Albion just in case he is ever needed again while he is over in the UK.
"Ed is just training with us," said Saumi. "He is doing a coaching level course and it is just good to have him here to share ideas.
Full Story the Plymouth Herald
Lee Blackett is Titans new Defence Coach.
Blackett returned to the Titans this summer following his 6-year stint with local rivals Leeds Carnegie and he returns to Clifton Lane with a wealth of experience having worked with some of the top coaches in England.
During Blackett’s time in the Premiership with Leeds he worked with Stuart Lancaster, Mike Ford and Neil Back and Lee believes what he learnt under those quality coaches he can pass on to the current Titans squad.
Lee who was delighted to be given the defensive role explained, “I am aiming to help bring leadership to the group, both on and off the pitch. Also, as part of my role, I want to try and bring a focus to the defensive side of things as that aspect of the game is every bit as important as our attacking play.
“In addition to working with the group and I am also doing a lot of one to one sessions, focusing on position and technique.
“My ambition is to become a coach when I finish playing and hopefully that will be at a high level within the game. I am and have been head coach at Sheffield Hallam University for the last three years and I enjoy that role immensely.
“Previously when I was at Leeds, I was the defensive leader in the final two years in the Premiership. I have worked under Mike Ford who was England’s defensive coach, I have worked with Neil Back who was the defensive leader on the pitch when England won the World Cup in 2003 and I have worked with current England head coach Stuart Lancaster during my time at Leeds.
“I feel I have learnt a lot from those guys and I’m looking forward to passing on some of my experience and defensive knowledge to the squad.”
Titans head coach Andre Bester believe Blackett has all the right qualities to succeed in his coaching aspirations, he said, “Lee is a player with extensive Premiership experience and is also an exceptional competitor and like most players I teach them to think like a coach.
There’s no reason why Lee, with the experience that he has, having worked with some of the top international defence coaches, can’t add substantial value to our defensive efforts this year.
“There is no doubt; I want him to be the best defensive coach in the division and to go on to be one of the best in the industry. If Lee himself did not have that ambition, then I wouldn’t have appointed him as the defensive coach.”