25 January 2021 / Club News

Latest Rugby News

The latest rugby news from the club, as reported by the Welsh Rugby Union on its website today (25/01/21):

Former Wales Under-20 and Pontypridd flanker Jake Thomas has been joined by ex-Cardiff captain Luke Ford on the coaching side and Stuart Clarke has taken over the role of director of rugby.

Clarke has stepped into the new position following the departure of Keri Lovell due to family reasons. A Level 3 qualified coach and leader who has worked for the WRU as a Hub Officer and Coach Educator, Clarke is a current 1st XV player.

He previously played and coached the Oxford Brookes University 1st XV and is a previous captain of Penarth Youth. He recently spent three years as head coach with the Cardiff Blues senior women’s XV and has had previous experience with Cardiff Blues age-grade and the Vale of Glamorgan Under-15 teams.

“Stuart’s role will be an all-encompassing one, with responsibility for overseeing the growth and development of all forms of rugby at the club from under sixes through to seniors, veterans and ladies. This will also include individual player development and player retention,” explained Old Pens chairman, Steve Clarke.

“We had almost 400 players across the age-ranges return to training after the ‘Fire-break’, so there couldn’t be a better time for Stuart to take up the reins.

“The appointment of two player coaches in Jake Thomas and Luke Ford for the senior men’s teams bodes well for the future, as does the appointment of Stuart Barter as head coach of the women’s team.

“In many ways 2020 was a difficult year. It will take some time to get back to normal, but I’m sure when we do the club will be stronger and better prepared for the next chapter of its life.

“Our centenary year starts in November, 2023, and will conclude in November, 2024, so that gives all our members something to plan for and celebrate. We will then be able to look back on the past year as a dim and distant memory.”

As part of the club’s drive to improve both on and off the field, a 12 strong Steering Group has been set-up to provide new ideas for the committee to consider. Among the dozen are newly appointed Worcester Warriors commercial director, Adam Palfrey, Cardiff Devils Managing Director, Todd Kelman, local architect, Tasos Asprou, and builder, Bryn Llewellyn, all of who have sons playing at the club.

Fund raising specialist Clare Southard, who plays for the newly formed Old Pens women’s team is also on board, as is project manager Anthony Friis, civil engineer Stephen Davis, planning consultant Owain Nedin, National Lottery Funding Manager Gareth Williams, barrister and FAW director Tim Naylor, construction boss Hedydd Lewis and restauranteur Stephen Fifield.

“The role of the group is to come up with initiatives and ideas we can then take to the committee to move the club forward in three key areas – club and community rugby development, income generation and facility improvements,” explained Clarke.

“Historically, there have been some fantastic ideas flying around the club that for many reasons haven’t been executed. This is mainly down to resources.

“What the new Steering Group will allow us to do is take ideas, explore, research, prioritise and problem solve them in order to lay out an actual plan for implementation and approval. This will be the major advantage of having 12 motivated and experienced steering group members who are already very successfully doing this in their careers.

“What the committee need are researched plans with solutions and I think this will put us in a stronger position to execute change.”

On a sadder note, members from both Old Penarthians and Penarth will be lining Lavernock Road on Tuesday, 26 January, to pay their last respects to Stuart ‘Hoss’ Munro, who recently lost his brave fight against illness. He played as a second row for teams on both sides of the road.

The cortege will be travelling along Lavernock Road (passing the entrance to the Old Penarthians RFC and Penarth Athletic Club) at about 3.30pm before continuing past the golf club through Sully and on to Barry.

The women’s team and other club members raised more than £1,000 for Marie Curie on virtual runs and rides to Warsaw and back, as well as around Wales, as a tribute to ‘Hoss’.

There doesn't appear to be any tagged photos.

Upload and Tag Photos

You must be signed in to add comments