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Luctonians RFC are proud to announce the senior coaching team in place for the 2017/18 season.

Ryan Watkins will take on the lead of the senior squad at Mortimer Park as he becomes Head Coach.

ryan-watkins

Having gradually played a more prominent role within the coaching set up over the past three seasons, since he joined Luctonians as Backs Coach in 2014.

Having come through as a junior at Worcester, Watkins played his senior rugby across the West Midlands, at Stourbridge, Old Halesonians and Malvern, whilst studying for a degree in Sports Coaching Science.  This led to him teaching PE at Malvern College for 5 years, after which he took up the role of Manager of the AASE Programme at Worcester Warriors, a role he will continue whilst taking on the Head Coach job at Luctonians. When talking about his new position at the helm of the 1st XV Ryan said:

“I can’t wait for the challenge and to keep this young squad moving forward. The biggest target for us will be consistency and improving each week. In my three years here we’ve had some great highs and also lows, but with the squad and the support around them we have this year there’s no reason we can’t push on.”

Mike Hill and Ryan Watkins

Mike Hill and Ryan Watkins

Joining Watkins as Forwards Coach next season will be Mike Hill, formerly a player at Worcester Warriors, Stourbridge, and Birmingham Solihull.

Hill comes with good coaching pedigree having lead Newport (Shropshire) to promotion in 2014/15 and now currently the Academy Forwards Coach at Warriors, a role that also allows him to lead the Forwards in their Aviva A-League side. On joining Luctonians, Hill stated:

“I’m really excited to come on board at Luctonians. It’s got great facilities and a young squad that wants to learn and progress which is always exciting from a coaching perspective. I look forward to seeing where we can take this group of players, by building on the great foundations that have previously been laid.”

Another hugely popular character amongst the senior squad will remain in position this year, as former Luctonians 1st XV Player Ali Waugh will continue in his role as 1st XV Manager, having taken over from David James last season. Waugh was previously involved with managing the RMS Colts side at the club before stepping into the senior set up, and his continuation alongside Watkins will ensure a level of continuity occurs across the 1st XV squad.

Speaking about the new appointments Luctonians Chairman Sam Whiteman said:

“We are delighted to have in place our new team for next season in Ryan and Mike. They both bring great coaching knowledge and experience to the roles. For the club to have a pair of Level 4 coaches at our disposal is fantastic news for the development of our local home-grown players. It means the club continues in the same vain that it always has, in that it is about ensuring we invest our resources in providing the best coaching possible for players in the area. You will go a long way locally now, to find a better learning environment than the one that will be in place at Mortimer Park next season.”

Discussing the promotion of Watkins from Backs Coach, Whiteman added:

“Ryan has done a good, professional job with our existing squad over the previous three seasons, the players seem to respond to him and it was important for us to maintain a level of continuity in what we do at 1st XV level.”

Elsewhere in the Senior section of the club, former 1st XV and England U18 Player George Thomas will take on the role of 2nd XV Lead Coach, having previously coached the RMS Colts side, whilst another ex-member of the 1st XV, South African Brett Prior will continue with the excellent work he has been doing leading the Colts side for another season.

To watch Ryan Watkins’ and Mike Hill’s interviews with BBC Hereford & Worcester on 24th May 2017
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