Leadership group appointed for Senior Squad

Date: 02 July 2021

Ahead of a return to action for the 2021 /22 season, PGRFC have moved to appoint their leadership group for the upcoming campaign.

The club are therefore delighted to announce the following appointments: –

Club Captain: Ally Murray

1st XV Captain: Christian Taylor

1st XV Vice Captains: Matthew Lamprey and Sam Stott

2nd XV Captain: Dan Madden
2nd XV Vice Captains: Harry Holden and Craig Procter

Director of Rugby Gareth Dyer announced the appointments to the Senior Squad as they commenced pre-season training at their first session on Thursday. Speaking on the appointments he said “I am delighted to announce the appointments to these roles. The guys will form our squad leadership group for the season ahead and I believe we’ve identified a good cross-section of experience and character to take the squad forward”.

“Ally is rewarded for his unstinting loyalty to the club. He’s made over 250 appearances for the club and if it hadn’t been for the pandemic he’d now be closing in on the 300 mark. I believe he will get there in due course but this role is designed to ensure the Senior Squad understand their role and responsibilities in the wider club and Ally is known and respected across the club. We want the Senior Squad “brand” to be as strong as it can be and Ally’s role will be to ensure the squad meets those responsibilities and has that wider focus about how it represents the club in a positive way”.

Talking about the team appointments Dyer added “The role of the club captain allows the team captains and the vice captains to support that role but also have a more targeted focus on the team specific. Christian is a well-respected player and I think his appointment is a reflection of the respect in which he is held. I think it will benefit his development as a player and he’s a good age to come into the role. Matt and Sam will be vital support to Chris and they are two guys with plenty to offer. Again both are well respected and have demonstrated that they are key players in the squad. We want to build a strong leadership group, so they will both have a key input into managing the squad as we want the players to take more responsibility for the group than perhaps being overly directed by the likes of myself and Paul (Arnold)”.

Turning to the 2nd XV appointments, Dyer was equally keen to emphasize the importance of those appointments. “For some time the 2nd XV has had a bit of a leadership gap and this has been reflected in the performances and results. 2nd XV rugby is cyclical but we have a strong senior squad and the importance of 2nd XV rugby cannot be underestimated. On that basis we need to ensure we have strong leadership and also make sure that it develops leaders and players through giving them responsibility. Dan is respected by everyone in the squad and coaching group. To me he is the perfect individual to lead the side. He leads by example but will strike a great balance between ensuring players are focused on the game but also show the correct attitude both on and off the pitch. Similarly, Harry and Craig are important cogs in the leadership. This is a great opportunity for them to develop their game and recognise the importance they have to the squad. All three guys will no doubt feature in the 1st XV during the upcoming season but having this leadership structure ensures consistency of message”.

Dyer also talked about the appointed working as a group. “We are keen to provide the players with much more responsibility for the squad both in terms of what we do on the field but equally what we do off it. For too long I’ve felt like myself and the coaches have been too prescriptive and hence we haven’t allowed the players to take a full understanding of what it takes to manage a group of people that when you add in the off field personnel equates to some 60 individuals. So its sensible that we spread that leadership around a wider base and give the guys the chance to deliver a stronger buy in and identity”.

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