Further Coaching Appointments

Date: 26 May 2017

John Young, pictured above, returns to the coaching setup.

PGRFC have moved to strengthen their coaching set up with the appointments of Donny Sutherland and John Young to their senior coaching panel.

Donny Sutherland is well known for his work with the Myerscough Rugby Academy which is the base for the Sale Sharks EPDG program. He is lead forwards coach for the Academy where he has been for over a decade. He has also fulfilled other development roles for the Sharks. In addition, Sutherland has experience in Lancashire age grade rugby and in junior club rugby with Ormskirk. He will support Head Coach Paul Arnold with specific skill development and be part of the 1st XV coaching team on match days.

Speaking on his appointment, Donny said “I’m looking forward to working with the players & staff at Hoppers. I’m very aware of Hoppers traditions & pedigree; in my opinion they are biggest club in Lancashire & I’m relishing being part of getting Hoppers back to where they should be. I have worked with several of the squad over the years and look forward to hooking up with them again.I’m looking forward to the roles, particularly my remit to improve player development & the mentoring of the younger members of the senior squad”.


John Young returns to Hoppers after a brief sabbatical and will again have responsibilities within player development and integration into the senior squad as well as leading the 2nd XV on match days. John’s brief has been extended to look at the player pathway into the senior squad as the club seeks to implement a more robust development structure between its youth and senior rugby sections. John is a product of the Hoppers M&Y system and represented the club at 1st XV level in a playing career that also took in spells at Blackburn and Sedgley Park. He is also part of the Lancashire coaching system and has been involved with the U18 county squad.

Speaking on his return to Lightfoot Green, John said “I am glad to be returning to Hoppers after a couple of seasons away building up my coaching experience. Hoppers has always been close to my heart and I am excited about working with Arnie, Fitzy and the rest of coaching team and of course with the current group of players to help get the club back to where it belongs. The last couple of years I have spent time coaching younger players as they move into representative rugby and senior rugby. This is something Hoppers have a proud tradition of doing and I am keen to build on this with some of the exciting young players we have both in the senior squad and the wider club structure”.

Head of Rugby Operations Gareth Dyer said “The appointments of Donny and John will ensure we have a robust coaching structure in place to support Head Coach Paul Arnold and backs coach James Fitzpatrick. We identified that we needed to improve our development of young players and ensure we are continually improving their rugby experience. Both are capable guys who can also lead sessions as required and give leadership and direction on match days. We are also looking at further changes to our development pathway. As a club, we have a superb mini and youth system and it is imperative we maximise the potential of that in terms of the home-grown players who come through to play 1st XV rugby. We will be looking very closely at that system over the coming season and will be making the changes we feel are need to ensure we have a system that provides and develops future players, coaches and members of the back-room team”.

However, the club has seen a departure from the coaching staff in the form of last season’s 2nd XV lead coach Paul Moran. “Paul did a good job in trying circumstances last year and we thank him for his hard work” added Dyer. 

Back to Club News