Oundle Rugby Club have made some strong additions to their coaching staff as they bid to build on a highly-successful last campaign.
The Eagles’ first team gained promotion to Midlands Two East (South), a second elevation in three years, and also won the Midlands Senior Vase during last season while the Development side and Colts also performed well.
And, instead of becoming complacent, Oundle have now added new faces to the current coaching team of Peter Croot and Fred Sagoe.
Joining them will be Mark Rossouw, moving from Peterborough Lions as a back line player-coach.
Rossouw originally hails from South Africa and played to a high level in his junior rugby.
He will add experience and talent to the exciting back line Oundle have and can play at fly-half or centre.
The Eagles have also added former Northampton Saints and Bedford lock Jon Phillips to their staff.
Phillips made 350 first-team appearances at Franklin’s Gardens and over 100 for Bedford and is now Director of Rugby at Moulton College.
He worked with Croot for three years when coaching the East Midlands Under-16s and then went on to hold various various RFU coaching roles, including with the Midlands Under-20s and as an RFU Coach Educator.
Director of rugby Croot said “I am delighted with recruiting the experience of both Mark and Jon.
“We have a talented bunch of players here, and I want to challenge them all at whatever level, to be the best they can be.
“To do that you need a great team to support them and I believe we now have that.
“Also, we have key players who want to develop a coaching element to their game, and I will encourage them to do that.
“Saad Sait brought a lot of new ideas to the club last year and he will continue in a coaching and development role as well as remaining a key player.
“John Ironmonger will act as a development coach, working with the second team and young players to broaden their skills and improve individually.
“We have a clear desire to keep pushing up the league structure, keeping an exciting brand of play and retaining our identity. With the coaching team in place, I am confident can deliver that objective.”
Oundle are looking to recruit players of all ages and abilities.
Their senior player registration day will be at Occupation Road on Saturday, July 2 between 11am and 3pm, which will be followed by a social meet and greet.
Anyone wishing to join is welcome and the day will be used to assess skills and fitness.
Oundle are also celebrating their 40th anniversary this year and the opening weekend will feature a pre-season fixture for both the first and second teams on Saturday, September 3, followed by a celebration dinner.
And Sunday, July 3 will be a fun day for the mini and junior section with registrations being open for those age groups.