Dear OLRFC Member,
Further to my mail of 11th April we remain in unprecedented times and as promised I am writing to you with an update on various matters. Before doing so I wanted to reinforce the message that the Club is here to help all members in these difficult times and our mantra is STAY SAFE & KEEP IN TOUCH particularly with any members who are classed as vulnerable at this time. Once again the most important aspect is to reinforce the government guidance as this will be the only way we will get through this crisis is by working together and we hope to be back playing Rugby and enjoying Fenley Field as soon as it is the right time. Before listing the update it is only right once again to must pass on my and the Club’s thanks and appreciation to our members who are doing such a marvelous job in working in the various public services at the present time particularly the Police, Prison and National Health Service and it has been moving reading about the Heroes that the M&J have been publishing on Facebook. We cannot thank you enough.
- We have been in touch with Rugby School regarding the Centenary games on the Close and have reserved either 18th,25thOctober 2020 or 14th March 2021. At this stage merely note the dates and we will decide when matters become clearer.
- We have not discussed alternative dates for the Club Dinner with Lawrence Sheriff School until there is greater clarity regarding mass gatherings but the guarantee regarding both pricing and ring-fencing remains in place.
- The virtual 1200 Club Draws on 18th April went better than I anticipated in technological terms and Congratulations to the Winners. We will complete the May Draw on 16th May @ 5.00pm as promised and will review subsequent dates alongside any possible Post Covid-19 Party. Please continue to pay your subscriptions and ensure YOUAREINIT2WINIT as it will make the party even more special and hopefully memorable.
- Whilst no decision has been made in relation to the Nat West Rugby Force Weekend scheduled for 27th June we anticipate it will be postponed but we are going to press ahead with the repairs to the Drive as the current lockdown is ideal for what is essential work whilst being able to observe Social Distancing and we anticipate the work starting next week. Our thanks to the willing Volunteers who are making this happen – Rob Smith, John Tull, Ian Turton, Dave Longrigg, Paul Carey and Dave Baker. It is greatly appreciated and will make Fenley Field truly and safely accessible for the future.
- Annual General Meeting this has been exercising us as the promised guidance from the RFU has not been forthcoming but based on our 2014 constitution the meeting has to be held no earlier than 3rd May 2020 and no later than 3rd October 2020 subject to 21 days’ notice. The requisite quorum of members being either 25% of eligible members (circa 53) or 25 whichever is the lesser number and until matters become clearer there’s no pressing need to fix a date for the meeting whether it be virtual or real!! However we made a commitment last year to post the nominations forms at the end of March in the Clubhouse which became irrelevant in the present circumstances but we want to consult members properly in this area. We are working on the list of Eligible Members and Anthony Watters & Tim Chambers have created an on-line forum which will facilitate that. We will release details once we compile the membership mailing list which is proving a little more difficult than it should BUT when it happens you will see that there will no longer be a position of Chairman of the Playing Committee. There being 2 reasons:-
- After many years of sterling service Mick Warwick decided some months ago that he wanted to stand down although he will continue as our representative on the RFU Facilities Committee and attend committee meetings
- This linked with Andy Milner and Iain Wallis standing down became the catalyst for us to review our coaching structure which despite the many changes in the Club- M&J, Ladies Touch, Girls Contact and Colts – remained the same. The Chairman of the Playing Committee will be replaced by a Director of Rugby who will be appointed by the Committee who will have oversight of all coaching within the Club working with the coaches of the various sections including the Head Coach of the senior club. I am delighted to announce that Matt Davies currently forwards coach of Rugby Lions is our new Director of Rugby and Greg Loydall is our new Head Coach. A copy of the Press Release being attached for your information and I hope you all share my enthusiasm for these appointments which will ensure the Club continues to develop and improve. Matt & Greg will get in touch with the other coaches and players as necessary and certainly once we know when rugby restarts.
- The Pitch maintenance work has continued over the last 2 weeks as we anticipated and whilst we could do with a little more rain Fenley Field will be at its very best for when we all meet again to play the game of Rugby. Once again many thanks to Dave Baker, Ian Turton and Arwel Jones for their sterling work.
I will provide you with a further update on matters as soon as we are able. Any questions or concerns just drop me a line but otherwise STAY SAFE and KEEP in TOUCH.
Old Laurentian RFC have overhauled their coaching structure for season 2020/21 with two important new appointments.
Joining the club as Director of Rugby is Matt Davies; and taking on the role of Head Coach is Greg Loydall. They succeed the current coaching team of Andy Milner and Iain Wallis, who are both stepping down. Milner has been with the club for four seasons, the last three as Head Coach when he worked with Wallis who, after a playing career with the club covering 20 years and close on 400 appearances, took on a coaching role in 2015/16.
Both new recruits can look back on highly successful playing careers and, whilst Loydall is taking his first steps as a coach, Davies brings with him an impressive coaching pedigree.
Welshman Matt Davies gained his first top level playing experience in South Africa before he moved to Rugby and joined Rugby Lions in 1997 in their heyday in the national leagues, playing just short of 200 games for them and captaining the club. He went to Kenilworth RFC for his first coaching role before re-joining Lions to work as a forwards coach. After the collapse of Lions he moved on to Newbold and enjoyed a highly successful six seasons with them when they won 2 promotions and the Warwickshire Cup. His most recent role was in company with Phil Reed when he moved back to Lions for a season.
As Director of Rugby, Davies will oversee all playing and coaching activity within the club with a particular emphasis on supporting coach development for Minis, Juniors, Colts, Girls and Ladies rugby; and developing a culture and playing pathway to ensure that the club takes full advantage of the large pool of talent that already exists. OLs are fortunate to have an enthusiastic and talented group of coaches at all levels, who can only benefit from working with him – and Davies already has first-hand experience of this as his son has been a mini & junior player at OLs since 2014.
OLs were confidently expecting to have several more seasons of Greg Loydall as a player but after 3 serious shoulder injuries in just 12 months he has had to call time on his playing career at just 28, a tragedy for such a talented player. Loydall made his senior debut for OLs at 18 before joining the Royal Navy, where he enjoyed a stellar playing career. He captained the Navy Under 23 team, leading them to the Inter Services championship, and represented the UK Armed Forces at both U23 and senior level. But the peak of his career was playing in three Navy/Army games before a full house at Twickenham. When Navy commitments permitted, he turned out at every opportunity for OLs. He will shortly be leaving the service and now wants to concentrate on pursuing a coaching career, with specific responsibility for the club’s senior teams - and he couldn’t have a better mentor on this first step than Matt Davies.
‘When our coaching team indicated their intention to step down, we were delighted when two such experienced and talented individuals became available and were keen to join us’, said Club Chairman Andrew Spriggs. ‘We are fortunate in having a large band of knowledgeable and enthusiastic coaches and administrators at all levels in the club and they can only benefit from the guidance and mentoring that Matt Davies will bring to us; and Greg Loydall is widely known and respected by our senior players and will bring recent experience of playing at the highest level to his new job’.