Matt Jones back to lead the wolf pack

Wolverhampton RUFC have found an in-house solution to their hunt for a new head coach.

Wolves’ head coach Matt Jones
Wolves’ head coach Matt Jones

Matt Jones has been handed the task of building on last season’s superb title-winning Midlands 2 West (North) campaign.

And it will be a case of stepping into familiar surroundings for 27-year-old Jones, who stepped down from the lead coaching role at the end of the 2018/19 campaign due to work commitments with Worcester Warriors, where he coaches in the Premiership club’s academy.

Jones, who played for the Castlecroft outfit last season, will replace Olly Herrman, who has stood down due to family commitments after overseeing last term’s triumph.

The club have also added former Wednesbury head coach Gary Summers to their ranks.

Liam Holder (backs) and Ian Harley (forwards) complete the coaching set-up while Neil Jones continues in his role as director of rugby.

On the pitch, Ben Barnes will carry on as first team captain with Peter McMahon taking on the role as vice-skipper.

But Mark Evans, who has been the club’s strength and conditioning lead for the past five seasons, is stepping down in order to focus on playing.

Jones is eager to start planning for the step up to Midlands One

“I am hugely excited to link up again with the club in a coaching capacity and build on the fantastic work done last season by everyone involved with the club,” he said.

“We have high expectations of this playing group in a new league and I will be doing all I can to ensure that we achieve our goals.

“It’s been great to have conversations with current and returning players ahead of next season and there is a real buzz about the place.”

Fellow coach Harley is delighted to see Jones back in the fold and to welcome Summers on board as the club look to build on their recent success.

“Our director of rugby, Neil Jones, spoke to Matt and he decided to throw his hat in the ring, I think he felt that calling to go back to coaching,” said Harley.

“Matt has been coaching at Worcester Warriors and he had a very successful spell as coach with us. He got us promoted and kept us at level six.

“He has been here eight or nine years. He knows the club and he knows the players. I think there are only a couple in the first team squad who he hasn’t coached before.

“The answer was right under our nose all along.

“And Gary is a very experienced coach and has been working at the Leicester Tigers academy.

“Once Neil knew he was interested in joining us it was a no-brainer.”

On the playing side, Elliott Tomlinson (back row) has returned to the club while the Castlecroft outfit are also on the lookout for players who will strengthen their squad.

“We are speaking to a few players,” added Harley. “But I would back every player in our first team squad to be more than capable of playing at level six, and not just surviving but competing.

“But we will be playing against bigger and stronger players and we are going to get injuries.

“We need to have strength in depth.”

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