Rossendale away, the first challenge for the new coaching team

By David Wilkinson

The new coaching set-up has now had two sessions together to ready the squad for the challenge ahead. Ben Wade, previous Forwards’ Coach has moved to Head Coach, with Darren Lamond now Assisting Ben; they will be supported by Russ Tomlinson and George Edwards, as well as the medical team of, Lizzie Adlington and her team, with Consultant Coaches Chris Jones, Sam Moss and Billy Robinson.

Chairman Stephen Branch welcomes Ben Wade into his new role as Head Coach

Ben is an experienced ex player and coach, a proportion of which has been against Macclesfield with previous clubs. He started his rugby at Morley, before going down to Gloucester, trying to start his career in the professional game, he came back to Morley before Geoff Wappett recruited him to the Championship side Rotherham Titans. They gained promotion into the Premiership, but a very bad knee injury was to put him out of the game for 18 months. When he eventually recovered, he re continued his career as a player coach, first at Wharfedale, then back to Rotherham before becoming Head Coach at Sheffield Tigers. Latterly he has coached Notts Lincs and Derby, at County level whilst helping Bakewell, where he now lives. He is on record as scoring four tries for Rotherham in a game against Exeter Chiefs – so he knows how to get over the whitewash!

Darren Lamon (Daz) had a spell at the Club some 15 years ago but injury, and some guidance from friend Brendan Thomas, started him on his journey as a Coach.  After doing some work with the IRB (World Rugby) he took on a development role with Sale Sharks, before taking on a job with the Academy. When Covid struck he worked with Sale to set up the Ladies Elite Premiership team and has been their Coach since. Daz joined the team initially as Skills Coach but will now work hand-in-hand with Wadey to develop the squad and their performance on the pitch.

Russ Tomlinson, Darren Lamond and Ben Wade form the new top-line of the coaching set-up

Wadey is under no disillusions as to the challenge ahead: “The boys are motivated and up for it, we have four tough games ahead of us starting with Rossendale, who we have never beaten away, but the boys know what to expect”. Whilst there’s a strategy in place it will hopefully unfold on the pitch, rather than in this column. Rossendale are now coached by ex Sale Sharks player Byron McGuigan, and have the benefit of the try-scoring number 8 Matt Lamprey. Lamprey is a handful, for any team, and regularly tops the try scoring charts having played for Sedgley Park, Fylde and Hoppers.

Strengthening the squad will not happen overnight, and whilst we welcome back Harry Blackwell and Elliot Alston, Charlie Attis pulled up on Thursday night with a groin strain. The team for Saturday is: 1, Dan Percival, 2. Marcus Pyle, 3. James Cross, 4. Harry Harding, 5. Elliot Alston, 6. Sam Jones, 7. Seb Pemberton, 8. James Oliver, 9. Dan Martin, 10. Louis Singelton, 11. Sam Broster, 12. Harry Blackwell, 13 Harry Oliver, 14. Sam Brown, 15. Tom Jennings, 16. Ben Holden, 17. Brendan Berry, 18. Tom Leicester.

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