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New Coach and Director of Rugby appointed at Old Penarthians RFC


Old Penarthians RFC will begin the new season with a new head coach and director of Rugby.

The announcement comes after coaches Simon Hurley and Anthony Davies told the club that they felt the time was right for them to stand down, to allow fresh blood to come into the club to take it to the next stage.

In a club statement, Old Penartians RFC said " Their commitment and support for the club has never wavered throughout the many years that they have been involved and their efforts in getting the team promoted and establishing itself as promotion candidates in the last 2 seasons will never be forgotten."

"Not wanting to be caught napping at this time of uncertainty we were committed to identifying a new Head Coach as quickly as possible and as fate would have it within a few days of Simon and Anthony’s decision an exciting young coach made himself available and we are delighted to announce that we have been able to secure his services to head up a new coaching line up."

The club have announced former Cardiff, Pontypridd and Merthyr back row forward Jake Thomas as their new head coach.

Jake is not only an excellent rugby player who has played at a very high level for many years; including age-grade for Wales , he is also a level 3 coach with extensive experience of regional age-grade and academy performance player development.

Until recently he was employed by the WRU as one of their regional Development Managers and has considerable experience of all aspects of Welsh rugby and rugby clubs.


Jake will start with the club in June and will spend his time initially getting to know the players and bringing in additional coaching support to ensure that all players current and new will receive the very best coaching that modern players deserve.

A club spokesperson said "As a club we are excited to have secured the services of such an exciting and talented young coach and look forward to working closely with him once the season eventually starts. "

Following the recent appointment of a new head coach, Jake Thomas, the Old Penarthians RFC announced that they have appointed their first ever Director of Rugby, Keri Lovell.

Keri was until recently the Vale of Glamorgan Hub Officer for the WRU with special responsibility for developing rugby at all Penarth senior and primary schools. He was particularly proud to have been awarded the National Hub Officers award for changing the women’s game and also the National award for Coach Development in his first year in his role with the WRU.

He is currently the forwards coach for the Cardiff Blues under 16‘s team and a qualified level three coach.

Prior to coming to South Wales he was head coach at Canterbury Christchurch University for their women’s rugby teams, head coach at Gillingham Anchorians RFC and a Development Coach for England RFU.

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