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Coaching Announcement

| 15/05/2018

Ahead of the new season Bridgwater and Albion RFC are announcing a change in their coaching structure..

Simon Morrell has decided not to apply to renew his contract on completion of the 2017/18 campaign.

During the last season Simon and his wife had their second child so the demands of a young family, a busy job in a large secondary school coupled with the Head Coach role was a lot to ask so he has rightly needed to prioritise on his young family for a while.

Albion Director of Rugby Geoff Sluman said:  “I would like to say a big thank you to Simon; he is one of the best coaches we have been lucky enough to have and has definitely developed the rugby we play. I hope Simon soon returns to coaching, our sport needs good coaches and Simon is certainly that – I also hope he does not return with any of our competitors!”

The Director of Rugby added: “We have known about the situation for a while so have been undertaking a review, and were lucky enough to have several strong candidates interested in the role so the process has taken some time.

“We also wanted to concentrate on the rugby towards the end of the season and try not to cause any distraction off the field that could adversely impact on performance on the field. We wanted to finish as strongly as we could and not be distracted.”

The Director of Rugby said he was delighted to announce the appointment of Wayne Sprangle as a player coach for next season.

Wayne brings a great deal of experience as a player, where he plays in the back/second row and as a coach. Wayne started his senior playing career at Bath who gave him first professional contract at the age of 19 for two years. He trained full time with the first team squad which meant playing and training with premiership/international players during that time.

Wayne then moved to Cornish All Blacks who were seeking promotion into National Two. His spent five season with them and gained promotion to National Two then eventually National  One now the Championship making over 100 first team appearances.

Wayne then joined a different Albion – Plymouth Albion in 2007 to remain a championship player, where he was semi-professional whilst working as a multi sports coach at Queens College in Taunton. He enjoyed five seasons at Plymouth and again played with and against some top players.

During his time there he represented Somerset in the county championships and on the back of that, got called up the England Counties tour to South Korea and Japan. He says it was an absolute honour to pull on an England jersey and represent my country.  Wayne went on to make 130 first team appearances for Plymouth during his five seasons.

The birth of his and his wife Becky’s twin boys made it difficult to maintain playing at such a level so not wanting to give up rugby completely he joined Tiverton RFC in 2012 as a player coach where they gained promotion in Wayne’s first season and he says he has learned a lot about coaching.

Wayne said: “I have enjoyed my time at Tiverton and I thank them for a lot of good times but is certainly time to move on to what I plan to be bigger and better things and I am looking forward to working with everyone involved at Bridgwater & Albion RFC and especially the quality of players that are at the club and of course having a pint or two!”

Sluman said:  “We are all excited about working with Wayne and for the next season and can’t wait for pre-season training to start, which will be on Tuesday 03 July 2018. All players old and new are very welcome.

The Director of Rugby added: “There are still some more changes in the coaching set up at the Albion to come and these will be announced shortly.

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Category: 1st XV News

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