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RUGBY: Wilson takes helm at Witney
10:20am Thursday 5th September 2013 in Sport
WITNEY have an all-new coaching team as they prepare for a fourth season in South West 1 East, starting on Saturday.
Peter Wilson comes in as head coach, with Ritchie Craig taking over the forwards duty.
Francis Grant is their new first-team manager, but there is continuity in utility forward and last season’s player of the year Jez Hicks remaining as captain.
Wilson, who is known as Tug, is also head coach of the RAF and last season took charge of the Combined Services side.
He has increased links between Witney and the RAF and plans to use some of their players to boost the largely homegrown squad at Hailey Road.
“The welcome at the club and support has been outstanding and we hope to make some progress from last season and build steadily from there,” said Wilson.
Former Maidenhead player Craig was capped by Scotland at under 19 level and played numerous times for the RAF and Combined Services.
Now retired from playing, he is relishing the challenge ahead.
“To have such a positive set of players and people at Witney RFC has made our work very enjoyable and hopefully we can steadily progress together as a club,” said Craig.
Witney have signed four players, welcomed back three and only lost one.
IN: Dave Wickens (High Wycombe), Phil Thomas & Stuart Catherall (both RAF), David Hyde (University of Portsmouth), Robbie Richardson (Exeter University), Arron Lambourne (Chineham), Adam Copperwheat (Melton Mowbray) OUT: Richard Haire (Grove).
Last season: 10th.
Oxford Harlequins have appointed lock Luke Brown as their new captain.
They are seeking an immediate return to National 3 South West after last season’s dismal campaign which saw them relegated from National 3 South West.
IN: Nick Marsh (Cambridge University, prop), Dylan Rodriguez (Hartpury College, hooker), Allan Purchase (Broadstreet, lock), Richard Battson (Boroughmuir, back-row), Jackson Achilles (Boroughmuir, back-row), Ben Selby (Randwick, hooker/back row), Ralph Jones (Littlemore, scrum half), Zac Norris (East Bay Rebels, Auckland, fly half), Keni Fisilau (Plymouth Albion, inside centre), Adam Walsh (Broadstreet, outside centre/wing), Jack Robinson Harwell, wing/full back), Mike Lee (Perth Bayswater Club, centre).
OUT: Jack Cosins (Vancouver, scrum half), Mike Forde (Christchurch, lock).
Last season: 13th (National 3 South West. Relegated) Grove have signed lock Richard Haire from league rivals Witney.
They open their season at home to Swindon.
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