Pontypool RFC is pleased to announce the complete retention of the club's coaching and management staff ahead of next season.
Leighton Jones (head coach), Tom Hancock (backs coach), Andrew Quick (defence coach), Rhys Dyer (head of performance) and Gareth Rusby-Davies (team manager) enjoyed a fruitful first season together as a coaching unit, despite the truncated 2019-2020 campaign. Prior to the COVID-19 induced cancellation of rugby in Wales, the club sat top of the WRU Specsavers National Championship and had extended their unbeaten run in the league to 63 games.
The continuity in the coaching set-up is a welcome boost for the club. The future of head coach, Leighton Jones, was already confirmed, with Jones' current contract set to run until the summer of 2022. Despite the evolving nature of the playing squad, Jones' coaching team has retained a stable look to it throughout his five-year reign. The club's extraordinary consistency under Jones owes much to the work done by the coaching team, who will look to inspire more of the same when the sport resumes.
On the importance of retaining his backroom team, Jones said: “Having a settled staff is important to how we operate as a club. It makes the implementation and continuation of various systems a lot easier and ensures the squad aren't regularly having to adapt to potentially different approaches. Despite how last season finished, improvement in certain areas was noticeable and we will look to build on that moving into next season.
"I thought the Championship moved up a level last season. The added competition provided by Bargoed and Bedwas, in particular, really improved the league as a spectacle. When we are able to resume, they will be strong promotion contenders once again and I wouldn't rule out Neath, who have spent the last twelve months rebuilding on and off the field.
“I've said it before, but the retention of our coaching and management team is an endorsement of the environment that exists at Pontypool Park. Alongside our successes, there will always be areas where we can further improve, but as a group we continue to believe in what we are trying to achieve."