Cambridge Rugby are pleased to confirm the retention of the National One winning coaching trio of Richie Williams, Anthony Allen and Neil Harris ahead of the new season.
Leading the eastern counties based side to a sensational final match National One league victory in the 2023-24 season, Williams, Allen and Harris are looking forward to the new challenge of competing in the RFU Championship.
Ahead of the club’s first season in second tier of English rugby and in their centenary year, Richie Williams continues in the role of Head Coach and is busy preparing for the demands that the new season will bring;
“It is hugely exciting leading a team who are about to play in the Championship. I was delighted to achieve a personal aspiration of winning National One and feel hugely privileged to be working with such a talented and hard-working group of players and staff.”
Williams is looking to guide his side to a successful first year in the league and is quietly confident in navigating his way through the new environment;
“Naturally we must continue to evolve and adapt quickly to the demands of Championship Rugby, but we must also be ourselves and enjoy the experience.”
Speaking of the senior squad for the new season, Williams shares his confidence in the off-season recruitment;
“One of the priorities in the off season was to retain the core of the National One winning squad and then recruit to give us greater strength in depth. I feel confident that we now have a well-balanced group that will attack our new challenge.”
Alongside Williams in Cambridge’s coaching set up is former England International Anthony Allen who also makes a welcome return to Volac Park. Combining his role as Defence Coach with his role at Loughborough University, Allen celebrated success with both sides last season and hopes the momentum will continue into 2023-24:
“We are delighted that the vastly experienced Anthony Allen will remain for the 2023-24 season in his capacity as Defence Coach. Success followed him around last season as he not only won National One with Cambridge, but was also a BUCS Super Rugby winner with Loughborough University.” – Williams said.
Williams commented on the importance of retaining Allen;
“As a club, we are extremely fortunate to keep Anthony for another season. His stock and profile is very high and we believe this appointment underlines our ambition of becoming an established Championship team. His coaching philosophy compliments the playing group that we have and his experiences both as a player and more recently as a coach, have supported the players in their on and off field developments.”
“I am really looking forward to the opportunity to test ourselves as a group in the Championship next season. We have grown our game last year and I am excited about the challenge of growing it further. It’s great that the players can express themselves at the next level and we need to prepare them for that. I’m also delighted to work with Richie and Baz (Neil Harris) for another season.” – Allen added
The next piece in the puzzle comes in the form of Forwards Coach Neil Harris who also remains as part of an exciting coaching team.
Richie Williams credited Harris’s work last season in nurturing Cambridge’s formidable forwards pack;
“Neil added real value to the group last season with his strong understanding of both the scrum and the lineout. He was able to build on previous foundations and support the players in becoming one of the standout set-piece teams in National One.”
“Consistency was a key aim going into this season and I am pleased that we have managed to retain Baz for another year. I was really impressed with how quickly he was able to embed his philosophy, initially with the front row players and then latterly, the wider group. His eye for detail and clear passion of the scrum is something to behold. I am excited to see how much more growth he can get from the group.” – Williams added
Harris is excited to return to the mix and begin his Championship journey with Cambridge;
“Following a successful season in National One I am delighted to have the opportunity to remain with this squad in the Championship.
“When I spoke with Richie at the end of last season it was a no brainier for me. The culture that he has built over previous seasons is clear to see and I look forward to supporting this talented squad.
“This season will come with many challenges, however we will all work hard both on and off the field to raise the standards yet again”.
Just one of many announcements set to be shared over the coming days keep your eyes peeled across our social media channels and brand new website for more news on our player roster and staff set up for the 2023-24 season.