RFU Championship News

Friday 6th

RFU Championship News 6th July 2012


RFU Championship News Friday 6th July 2012

News and comment from around the clubs and what the papers say.

Bedford Blues

Bedford Blues

Blues boss Mike Rayer says London Welsh’s successful appeal gives everyone in the Championship encouragement, writes James Heneghan in Bedford Today

Rayer said: “It’s great for them. I think they fought the battle for all of us so it’ll be interesting to see how it pans out for them.

“It gives everyone encouragement.

“I haven’t read the whole judgement but it’s without doubt that the criteria is unrealistic so hopefully common sense will prevail and it’ll be a bit more realistic in the future, so if you win the league then you go up.

“I keep saying it, I’m just trying the win the thing. I don’t care if we go up or not, I just want to win it.

Full Story www.bedfordtoday.co.uk

Bristol Rugby

Bristol RugbyDean Ryan – who has returned to Bristol as a consultant – said he would not have rejoined the club unless head coach Liam Middleton felt he could benefit from his input.

Ryan, who was head coach at Bristol from 2000 to 2002 before spending seven years with Gloucester, will continue to work as an analyst and commentator for Sky Sports – but will spend one day a week at Bristol.

The 46-year-old will offer advice to the club's board and coaching staff – but said he had absolutely no designs on a return to full-time coaching.

Full Story www.thisisbristol.co.uk

Cornish Pirates

Cornish PiratesThe Cornish Pirates have continued their preparations for the new season with three more signings.

Lock Darren Barry has joined from Bristol, while centre Tom Bedford (Newcastle Falcons) and hooker Darren Semmens (Cornish All Blacks) have also joined the Championship club.

The Pirates have been looking to bolster their second row after the summer departures of Ian Nimmo, Mike Myerscough and Matt Smith, and Barry seems to fit the bill well.

Full Story www.thisiscornwall.co.uk

Darren Barry - lock forward - 6' 6" tall and aged 22, is a player of considerable potential. He joins from Bristol having also enjoyed spells playing for Clifton.

Hooker Darren Semmens, who hails from St. Just, is well-known locally. Aged 24, he started his senior career playing for Mounts Bay, in recent seasons he has played mainly for the Cornish All Blacks and also for Redruth.

Tom Bedford - 23-year-old centre/wing - joins from Newcastle Falcons but has strong West Country links. Born in Exeter, he made his Chiefs debut at the age of 17 and later played for Bedford Blues before joining the Falcons.

Commenting on the club's latest signings, CEO Rod Coward said: “We believe that all three players will prove to be excellent additions to our squad and that, once again, the Cornish Pirates will be a force to be reckoned with in both the Championship and the British & Irish Cup.



JerseyJersey have confirmed that Jersey's Economic Development Department (EDD) is the new principle sponsor for the forthcoming 2012/2013 season.

The department's initial one-year sponsorship deal will provide the club with a cash injection of £75,000. In return, the sponsorship will open up a host of business development opportunities for Jersey Tourism and Locate Jersey, which fall under EDD's responsibility and will be the title sponsors of the club.

As a result of the sponsorship, jersey.com and locatejersey.com will feature on all players' kit, including shirts, shorts, training and gym kit, as well as travelling clothes and cases. Branding will also be prominently displayed on two signs on the Airport road and on promotional material around the Island ahead of forthcoming matches.


Leeds Carnegie

Leeds CarnegieRowan Named Youngest Ever Leeds Carnegie Captain

England Under 20 international Jacob Rowan has been named captain of Leeds Carnegie ahead of the new RFU Championship season and at 22 he will become the youngest ever captain of the club.

Rowan, who captained England U20 and has previously played for England U16 and U18, takes over the captain’s armband from Andy Titterrell and surpasses former star Stuart Hooper as the youngster ever skipper. Hooper was 25 when he led Leeds to promotion back in 2006-07 season.

Commenting on the decision Head Coach Diccon Edwards said, “I am delighted for Jacob that he will be our permanent captain next season.

He did the job on a number of occasions last season on a game by game basis and impressed the coaching staff and his team mates with his leadership and decision making. It is important that we support Jacob in the role and our aim is to have a number of leaders within the squad that set the standard for the entire team and not just look to one person to drive the squad forward.

“Jacob has a natural ability as a leader and I am sure he will have benefitted from his first full season as a senior professional last season. He made 28 appearances for us in the Championship last season and was named our Player of the Season by his fellow team mates, so that shows the high regard in which he is held,” added Edwards.


Newcastle Falcons

Newcastle Falcons

Newcastle Falcons have announced their backroom set-up ahead of the 2012-13 season.

New Zealander Peter Russell has been appointed as head coach and is joined at Kingston Park by John Wells, who takes up the position of forwards coach.

Graham Steadman is named as defence coach following a four-year spell with the Scotland national team, while skills coach Calum MacRae and scrum coach Micky Ward have pinned their colours to the Falcons.

Andy Smith and Kevin McShane make up the strength and conditioning team with Martin Hastie heading up the video analysis department.

Academy manager Mark Laycock and academy coach James Ponton bolster the new-look coaching set-up led by incoming director of rugby Dean Richards.

“I am very happy with the coaching set-up and I am delighted to have a top-class structure in place,” said Richards.

“Peter Russell is a great appointment for the club, as is John Wells who both bring a wealth of experience to the table. It is great to have someone of Graham Steadman’s calibre as defence coach too.

“Calum MacRae and Micky Ward are also important assets for the club with Andy Smith and Kevin McShane crucial to the development of the player’s fitness.

“Everyone at the club has a point to prove and we are very much looking forward to the start of the new season,” he added.


Plymouth Albion

Plymouth Albion

Royal Navy forward Gareth Evans is on the verge of completing his move to London Welsh.

The Plymouth Herald reported on June 6 that the powerful hooker was set to join the Exiles after informing Plymouth Albion that he would not be staying with them.

At the time, London Welsh were still a Championship side, but they won their appeal to be promoted to the Premiership and so it means Evans can look forward to playing in the top flight.

It will be a remarkable rise for a player who spent years playing for Albion's development side as a back-row forward after joining Albion from Slough in 2005.

Full Story www.thisisplymouth.co.uk