Gary Hewer set for Carlisle RU coaching challenge
Last updated at 15:22, Friday, 13 July 2012
Gary Hewer, better-known for his coaching and development work in rugby league, is set on winning his spurs at the 15-a-side code.
The west Cumbrian leads Carlisle into the new North One West season as head coach, after initially being invited to Warwick Road to assist the previous coach Richard Metcalf.
Hewer said: “I was having a break after turning down a new contract offer with Whitehaven RL and I decided to freshen up and do a rugby union coaching course at St. Bees. That’s where I worked with Richard and from that he invited me through to take a few sessions at Carlisle.
“Unfortunately Richard had to stand-down in January and I was more involved until the end of the season. The players responded well and in a very tough, competitive league we managed to finish sixth bottom and safe from relegation.
“The director rugby Martin Plummer offered me the head coaching role for this coming season and after deliberating for a while I accepted. I still have rugby league commitments in west Cumbria but I’m enjoying being involved at Carlisle.
“It’s a very well-organised club and the structured pathway from youth teams through to the seniors is excellent. They have a lot of hard-working people at the club and I am fortunate to have two excellent assistants in Colin Jackson and Graeme Kidd. I have studied the club’s record over the years and it’s clear they have produced a string of very good players but haven’t always had the opportunity to get the most out of them as they have moved on.”
Hewer is no stranger to rugby union, despite his impeccable rugby league background. As a schoolboy he represented the north of England at union.
Carlisle are two weeks into their pre-season training and have added four new faces to their register – two of them players who were outstanding for Cumbria in last season’s Championship Shield matches.
Paul Lancaster (Whitehaven) and Kurt Maudling (St. Benedict’s) will bring strong competition to the Carlisle back division, along with Lee Askew who has joined from Aspatria.
Carlisle have also signed a youngster from Penrith, Ryan Feeney who is tipped to have a big future.
Carlisle start their preparations for the new season on August 18 with a home game against Northern and then on Friday, August 24 will visit Langholm.
While Carlisle stayed in North One West both Wigton and Aspatria were relegated and find themselves back in North Lancs Cumbria.
Matthew Atkinson has been re-appointed first team captain at Wigton for a third successive season. He has turned down several offers to move and will be staying with his home-town club.
The 27-year-old joined the club at 16 and was a key member of the Cumbria squad again this year, gaining his cap en route to Cumbria’s appearance in another Championship semi-final.
The 6ft 6ins, 18 stone forward, who is a handful in the second row or at number eight, has pledged to lead Wigton straight back up from North Lancs Cumbria.
New director of rugby Malcolm Brown is hoping that all of Wigton’s 2011/12 squad will stay to regain their place in North One West.
Aspatria have appointed centre Andrew Miller as their new captain for the 2012/13 season. He takes over from prop Graeme Andrews who has done the job for the last three seasons.
Andrew is the elder brother of England age group international Rob Miller.
Miller’s centre partner Lee Askew has moved on to Carlisle but winger Lee Tinnion has decided to stay at Bower Park.
Director of rugby Mark Richardson said: “There’s always the danger when you are relegated that players will move on but Lee is the only one who has left us.
“We have signed two new players for 2012/13, although one of them is a former Aspatria junior player. Jack Robinson played on the wing as a youngster on a couple of occasions for the first team before having a couple of years with Silloth. We are delighted to have him back.
“He’s been joined by Tony Nicholson, a scrum-half from Netherhall who is pals with one of our players and has decided to step-up a League with us.”
Penrith have re-signed their former winger Gavin Cartmel. He first played for the club at the back end of the 08/09 season immediately following his 17th birthday.
Cartmel then played every game of the following two seasons, being the top try scorers both times and ended up with a playing record of 61 games and 37 tries before moving to Fylde last season. He has since been dogged by injury and bad luck and in attempt to get his rugby career back on the road with the least amount of fuss is going back to Penrith.
Last year he picked up an injury pre season, then badly damaged his knee after playing only five games and has since sustained another minor knee problem.
Cartmel said: “I am pleased to be re-joining my home town team. I’m naturally disappointed I won’t be returning to Fylde RUFC for the forthcoming season after breaking into the first team but a long term knee problem has dictated the move.
“Penrith can offer me the physiotherapy and conditioning I need, without the travelling commitments, to get back playing again.”
First published at 14:12, Friday, 13 July 2012
Published by http://www.newsandstar.co.uk
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