Kirkpatrick joins Coaching Staff

Date: 18 July 2014

PGRFC is delighted to announce the appointment of John Kirkpatrick (pictured above in action for St. Helens) as Backs Coach for the 2014/15 season. He will assist Head Coach Garth Dew and Forwards Coach Alan Holmes in team preparations for the season ahead.

Kirkpatrick 35, returns to the club where he began his playing career after graduating from the clubs mini and youth system. A part of the National 2 North Championship winning squad in 1998/99, “Kirky” was snapped up by Super League giants St. Helens in 2001 and went onto play for the Saints for several years alongside the likes of Sean Long and Paul Wellens. After leaving Saints he enjoyed spells with Halifax Blue Sox, London Broncos and Widnes Vikings and was also called in into the Scotland RL squad in 2006.

After finishing his playing career, John has since undertaken a Masters in Sports Science and after graduating he worked his way back into professional rugby as a Strength & Conditioning coach, initially as part of the St Helens RL Academy staff before joining Sale Sharks. He has been part of the backroom staff at Sale for the last two seasons and will continue to be a full time member of the Carrington outfit. He will combine his day job with sessions at Lightfoot Green and his return will be warmly greeted by the Hoppers faithful.

Speaking on his appointment, Director of Rugby Gareth Dyer said “I’m thrilled to have John back at the club. He’s a Preston lad, a proud Hopper and he knows what the club is all about. He has developed a wealth of knowledge in the professional game both as a player and as an aspiring coach and his appointment is an excellent fit within our coaching setup. Speaking to him about the role it was clear he still has a strong passion for the club and he was very keen to get involved and take the club forward. John has a strong work ethic and desire to improve the players skill levels and that mind-set will complement the approach of Garth and Alan. The role will also help John develop further and I am sure the squad will enjoy working with him”.

On returning to the club, John Kirkpatrick said “The opportunity to return to Preston Grasshoppers is an honour. I grew up playing rugby from junior level to senior level at Hoppers and I have many amazing memories of winning Lancashire Cups and of course winning promotion in 1999 with the 1st XV.

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