Nottingham Rugby’s former Chairman and the previous Chief Executive of London Irish and Wasps, Geoff Huckstep, has been confirmed as the person to lead the search for a new Head Coach.
Nottingham announced last week that current coach Martin Haag, who had been with the Green and Whites since July 2012, would be leaving the club at the end of the season to take up a role with England Rugby.
Huckstep, who was involved in the original recruitment of Haag, brings with him a wealth of experience from both within and outside the professional rugby arena. Formerly CEO of both London Irish and Wasps, Huckstep was Chairman of Nottingham Rugby for two and a half years until December 2009. He is the current Chief Executive of the Motorpoint Arena Nottingham and National Ice Centre.
Commenting on his latest role in rugby, Huckstep said: “I have continued to stay involved with Nottingham Rugby since I stood down as Chairman. I enjoy my time as a Vice President, but the opportunity to help the club search for a new coach was too good to turn down. Martin has done a fantastic job here and I’d like to thank him for his time and wish him well for the future, but my focus must now shift as the search for his replacement begins.
“In Martin and his predecessor, Glenn Delaney, we’ve seen two coaches really develop during their time here and move on to higher things with England and in Glenn’s case, Premiership Rugby at London Irish. There’s a wealth of talent out there, from former international coaches to some very good up and coming prospects. Our challenge is to find someone that can help take Nottingham forward as we look to continue our progress in the Championship.”
Huckstep will be joined on the recruitment panel by former Nottingham flanker and England International, Gary Rees. Rees, who played his entire club career at The Green and Whites, made 23 appearances for his country and was involved in the appointment of Haag four years ago.
The rest of the panel will be made up of Club Chairman, Alistair Bow and directors Simon Beatham and Rob Jones. Several potential candidates have already been in touch with the club, but as with Haag’s appointment, they want to ensure they get the right person for the job. Director of Rugby, Beatham said: “We’ve got a great man in Geoff and whilst we are sad to see Martin leave, this presents an opportunity to find a new coach to further shape what we are trying to achieve here at The Bay. Nottingham has a tradition of not only developing first class coaches who move onto higher things, but also players. Dan Cole, Tom Youngs, Ed Slater, Alex Corbisiero, Sione Kalamafoni and Petrus du Plessis all plied their trade here at Nottingham and this is something the club is extremely proud of. We want to continue this ethos – it’s important to the club.”
As the panel begins its search for the next Head Coach, Haag is busy confirming the makings of the Nottingham squad for next season. Beatham continued:
“Martin is keen to leave a lasting mark here and build on what he and the rest of the coaching team have achieved over the last four years. We have a really good group of players at Nottingham and whilst I am sure we’ll see some leave and some new ones arrive, Martin wants to get as much sorted as possible before he moves on to pastures new.”
For anyone interested in applying for the role, please send CV and covering letter to [email protected]. The closing date for applications is 31st March 2016.