Director of Rugby, Blackmore, who was appointed last summer, hasn't rested on his laurels since the season ended and is set to be reunited with a previous coaching colleague from his days coaching youth rugby at Basildon RFC. Andre Beukes comes in as a replacement for Tom Taylor who has gone North. Beukes comes with a wealth of coaching experience at big clubs across Essex and Eastern Counties, as well as being Head of Rugby at Bishops Stortford College. Blackmore and Beukes will be backed up by Dave ‘Wobble’ Hyett, with the front rower and club stalwart coming in as Forwards Coach.
Blackmore was in high spirits over his new coaching set up; "It’s great to have Wobble and Andre onboard, they both have excellent backgrounds in rugby. Wobble is coming to the end of his playing days, having racked up a huge amount of quality mileage at decent clubs in both England and Australia. He came in as forwards coach towards the end of last season and was very influential, particularly with our lineout, which really suffered when we lost our two first choice 2nd rows to injury". Regarding Beukes’ appointment as Senior Coach, Blackmore was equally laudatory. "Andre is a quality rugby coach and, having worked with him previously, I can say with absolute confidence he will have a big impact on the players! He is a passionate rugby man and his technical & tactical knowledge will be hugely important to us"
Club Chairman, Elliot Zagger, and the rest of the Committee are excited with the new coaching set up "To have retained Director of Rugby Kevin for another season and enticed Andre away from Bishop Stortford RFC is clear testament of the direction in which we want the Club to go. With Wobble involved too, the players can be under no illusion of the Club’s ambition and commitment for the coming seasons ahead"
The Senior players are due to return to preseason training on the 27th June and are set for a challenging time and a demanding run of preseason games in August, against London 2 opposition. Blackmore said of his plans, "Preseason will be intense, but 100% rugby focused, I have secured some preseason fixtures that I believe will provide the impetus we need going in to next season, if the players rise to the challenge! We have huge quality in the squad, but at times last season we went off the boil and player availability let us down. The Club have shown they will back us 100%, the coaches are ambitious, and the players certainly have the talent to do something special, so it bodes well if we can bring that all together".
First Preseason game is away to Ipswich on August 15th, under lights. 20:00KO.