Nottingham’s Head Coach, Martin Haag is to leave the club at the end of the season to take up a role with the RFU as England Under-20s Head Coach.
Haag, who has been with the Green and Whites for four years, can reflect on a successful tenure at the club, guiding them to a 2nd place finish in his first year. They narrowly missed out on the play-off’s two seasons later and are currently 5th in the Greene King IPA Championship, pushing the top four hard once again.
Commenting on his time with Nottingham, Haag said:
“Finishing second and making the play-offs in that first year was a wonderful feeling and a great achievement for the club. We have a superb ethos here at Nottingham, something that shines through in the players and all the staff and volunteers that work so hard behind the scenes.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Nottingham and will miss those that make this club so special. There is great history here, a fantastic attitude to rugby and a real passion to succeed. I have learnt a lot in my time with the club and I am a better coach for it. I feel lucky to have been involved during such an important and rewarding period for the Green and Whites.”
Haag who has previously been involved with the England age grade sides, leaves Nottingham to take up the Head Coach role for the Under-20s. Working alongside recently appointed backs coach Rory Teague, Haag will take over from Jon Callard and lead the side into their first home World Rugby Championship in June.
Alistair Bow, Chairman at Nottingham Rugby commented:
“On behalf of the Board and everyone at the club, I would like to thank Martin for everything he has achieved at Nottingham Rugby. It has been a challenging period for the club and without his leadership I am sure we would not be in as good a place as we are now.
We are obviously disappointed to see him leave, but I am delighted that he has been rewarded for his efforts as our Head Coach. I am sure he’ll do a fantastic job for England Rugby and the RFU and we’d like to wish him well in his next post.”
Nottingham are yet to announce a replacement and are expected to follow a similar process of recruitment as they did when appointing Haag four years ago.
“When recruiting Martin we set up a small panel to research and evaluate possible candidates to take Nottingham forward. We are planning a similar approach and will announce details very shortly.”
Head of International Player Development at England Rugby, Joe Lydon said: “Martin is held in high esteem in the rugby world. We were impressed with his vision for both player and coach development and his philosophies and values align with those that are in place for the programme.
“He has the ability to maximise the potential of young talent and his previous experience will allow him to work well with the other international coaches and the clubs in developing players coming through the pathway.
“We are grateful to Nottingham for all their co-operation and support in allowing Martin to join the RFU and we’re very much looking forward to him starting with us at the end of the season.”