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New coaching team appointed for the 1st XV and Senior Mens Team

By Martin Train

Whitley Bay Rockcliff RFC are delighted to announce a dynamic new coaching team is taking the reins of its First XV and Senior Men’s teams.

Darren Cunningham will be joined by Craig Hamilton for the return to pre-season training in late June and have an ambition to better last season’s third-placed finish and continue to build on Rockcliffs entertaining style of play.

Level 4 Coach Cunningham joins the club as Head Coach while retaining his responsibilities as head coach of Northumberland’s Senior XV, having stood down at the end of last season from managing the historic Scottish Borders side Hawick RFC following stints at Kelso, Jed Forest RFC, Antwerp RC and Morpeth.

Former Newcastle Falcon and Scottish International Hamilton takes on the role of Player/Assistant Coach at Rockcliff having recently left a playing/coaching role at Hawick RFC. Craig’s professional career included over 50 games with the Newcastle Falcons, plus stints with Scottish Premiership sides Glasgow, Borders and Edinburgh, during which time he secured five full International caps for Scotland at Lock. He will be maintaining his involvement with Northumberland Under 20s and the Senior womens XV.

The new coaching team will look to build on the hard work of departing coaches Loren Nardini and Ian Chandler who took Rockcliff to a third-placed finish in Durham/Northumberland 2 only narrowly missing out on promotion in the final fortnight of the season.

Rockcliff’s Director of Rugby, Karl Briggs, commented: “I’m delighted to welcome Darren and Craig to the club where I’m sure they’ll further stretch an ambitious and committed group of players.”

“It’s also pleasing that Loren will be stepping upstairs to the role of Chairman of Senior Rugby, taking over from Bryan Stewart, ensuring continuity and a commitment to the style of play Rockcliff has become noted for lately.”

“We’ll be announcing the start of pre-season training as soon as we can confirm the new Rugby 365 Artificial Grass Pitch has received the necessary approvals.”

Updated 22:14 - 13 Jun 2018 by Martin Train

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