DESPITE there currently being no scheduled date for the return to playing, Bridgwater & Albion Rugby Club has not been standing still, writes Richard Walsh.

There is always a lot to do in the off-season and much of the preparation for next campaign takes time, as director of rugby Geoff Sluman explained.

“We have conducted a thorough review of our coaching arrangements,” said Sluman.

“We are extremely fortunate to have four top quality coaches - Wayne Sprangle, Richard Bright, Carl Rimmer and Ollie Devoto.

“Wayne and Brighty are both player-coaches so that adds something really useful, too.

“Wayne has decided to relinquish the head coach role this year to allow him to focus on playing.

“Any of the guys could take the lead and be head coach, but I am delighted that Carl Rimmer has agreed to take this role.

“Carl’s rugby pedigree is impressive; a formidable front row player, he has been a professional rugby player for many years and has played for Exeter Chiefs in the Premiership.

“He won the Premiership with them at Twickenham in the 2017 season, so we are very fortunate in having Carl lead things for us.”

Rimmer said: “I’m very much looking forward to taking the head coach role.

“The last two years have been a whirlwind since leaving the game and it’s been a real pleasure to have had coaching, as an area for me to stay connected with rugby.

“As Wayne has felt he would like to concentrate on the playing side of things while he is able to perform consistently really well for us, it was an opportunity I was more than happy to take up and allow him that freedom back, as well as take control of aspects of the game I feel I can improve and apply my strengths to.

“Since Wayne and Brighty have taken over, this coaching group has come together and with Devo [Devoto] it has been a fantastic combination of ideas and experience.

“With the strong, core group of players that turn out week after week, this club is a brimming pot of potential and I am very excited to continue this journey with them as head coach.”

Sluman added: “We have started some training within the current guidelines, that are no more than groups of six, non-contact activity and social distancing maintained.

“I have heard people say you can’t do a lot with those restrictions but we have a full programme for our first block of training.

“Men’s senior training is at 7pm on Tuesdays; new players are always very welcome to come along.”