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Coaching update at Wimbledon RFC for 2024/25 season

Coaching update at Wimbledon RFC for 2024/25 season

Richard Castle30 Apr - 06:31
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Important changes announced for next season announced by Stef D'Anna, Chair of Senior Rugby

With the 2023/24 season now drawn to a close I’m writing to share some important news about the coaching set up for the Wimbledon RFC Men’s First XV.

But first, I’m sorry to report that Collin Osborne, Director of Rugby at Wimbledon RFC for the past five years, is leaving the club. Collin has been a loyal and committed leader of our adult rugby. I know many of you have enjoyed spending time with Collin and benefited from his wisdom. I’m hugely grateful to Collin and I wish him well on his next venture.

But now to the future. With immediate effect I am delighted to say that James Brooks (pictured above, right) has accepted the position of Head Coach. He will be supported by Steve Hill (pictured above, left), most recently Richmond Rugby’s Director of Rugby. During his tenure there, Richmond gained promotion from National Two South to National One, and then twice from National One to the Championship - a league they competed in for six seasons. Since leaving Richmond, Steve has been a coaching consultant for the Ukrainian national rugby team.

James Brooks is well liked and has a strong pedigree as a former player at Leeds Carnegie, Northampton Saints and Wasps. More recently he has coached at Old Elthamians, North Walsham and at Ealing Trailfinders, where he led the youth-to-adult rugby pathway. Making sure we retain as many of our youth players within the club is going to be critical to our ongoing success as a club. As well as being Head Coach of the Men’s First XV, James will be instrumental in building our player pathway so as many players as possible continue to enjoy their rugby at Barham Road.

Clearly, we didn’t get the result we wanted at the weekend and we will play next season in the fifth tier of English rugby in Regional 1. But we are no less committed to the success of our senior men’s and women's teams. To maintain our prominence and positioning we want to play in National League 2 and will do everything we can to get back into that league.

James said “I am excited about the challenge ahead. A big focus will not only be the 1st team but ensuring we have at least two strong senior teams out on a consistent basis. I want to create more competition at training and for all players to train and play with smiles on their faces. Working hard and setting high standards is expected but so is having fun!”

To supercharge our efforts back to Nat 2s we are therefore delighted that Steve Hill has agreed to join us as consultant Director of Rugby to support James. Steve is an RFU Level 5 Coach who, apart from his time at Richmond Rugby, has previously coached at Harlequins, was Director of Rugby/Head Coach at Oxford University RFC and Head Coach of England Students.

Steve Hill wanted to share the following with the club: “I am delighted to be joining Wimbledon RFC. It is a club at the heart of the Wimbledon community and one with real potential for growth. Whilst my focus will be on the coaching of the senior men’s teams, it is my intention to bring my knowledge and experience to assist the many hard-working volunteers who operate in all areas throughout the club”.

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