James Fitzpatrick Joins Hoppers

Date: 22 May 2017

PGRFC are delighted to announce the signing of James Fitzpatrick as player/assistant coach for the 2017/18 season.

Fitzpatrick 29, joins the club in a dual role as a player and will also be part of Head Coach Paul Arnold’s coaching team with responsibility for the backs.

A powerful centre, James has made close to 200 career appearances scoring 60 tries. Originally a product of South Shields Westoe, he moved to National One Blaydon RFC for the 2009/10 season where he enjoyed a prolific campaign with 13 tries in 22 appearances. This led to his selection for the full England Counties side.

His impressive form also saw him attract the attention of North East giants Newcastle Falcons. He made the move to the Falcons for the start of the 2010/11 campaign and in four seasons at Kingston Park went on to make 77 appearances, 40 of those coming in the Aviva Premiership.

He left Kingston Park to join Leeds Carnegie with whom he spent two seasons in the Championship before spending last season with National One side Darlington Mowden Park.

He has also had coaching spells with South Shields Westoe and Durham University.

Speaking on the signing Head Coach Paul Arnold said “I am thrilled that we have signed “Fitzy” for next season. He is a proven performer and his quality and experience will add a lot to our group both on and off the field. His coaching input will complement the work of myself and the rest of our impressive coaching group. I can’t wait for him to get started”.

On joining the Lightfoot Green club, James said “I am very happy to be joining Preston for next season. The vision the club has for its future is ambitious and exciting. The facilities are excellent and the opportunity is a strong one for me at this stage in my career. I’m really looking forward to getting stuck in”.

The addition of Fitzpatrick brings the number of new faces in the squad so far to five with the club having already secured Paul Millea, George Skofic, Alex Hurst and player coach Arnold for the 2017/18 campaign. The club remains in discussions with other potential additions and further announcements will be made when appropriate.

Welcome to Hoppers James!

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