Plymouth Albion / Rugby

Plymouth Albion looking to put right coaching team together

brickfieldsPLYMOUTH Albion are ‘working on’ trying to put together the right coaching set-up for life in National One next season.

Last year, Albion had their largest-ever backroom team, led by head coach James Shanahan.

However, Shanahan left Brickfields three games before the end of the campaign with Albion rock bottom of the Championship.

Ruairi Cushion, who was Albion’s skills coach as well as a player, has left the club after six years, while defensive coach James Scaysbrook, who joined Plymouth midway through last term, has decided to move to Hong Kong after ending his playing career with Exeter Chiefs.

The futures of fellow coaches Rhys Oakley, Darren Crompton and James Owen, as well as Ryan Davies, who came in to work with Albion’s backs for the final two weeks of the season, are not yet known.

But with no central funding available in National One, it seems likely Albion will have a smaller coaching team working under new director of rugby Graham Dawe or rely on more player-coaches.

When asked about the plans for the coaching set-up following the departures of Shanahan, Scaysbrook and Cushion, Dawe said: “Our intention is to put a coaching team together, whether that is out-and-out coaches or player-coaches. That is something we are working on.

“We are always looking to bring quality people to the club.”

Meanwhile, Exeter College have hinted that their star player Billy Searle could be on his way to Albion.

The Launceston fly-half/full-back impressed on his County Championship debut for Cornwall against Gloucestershire last weekend and earned praise from Duchy coach Dawe.

Exeter College sports department congratulated Searle on his Cornwall call-up on Twitter, but added: “Surely bound for big things @Albionrfc.”

Searle retains his place at full-back for Cornwall’s match away at Kent this weekend. The Duchy make two changes to their starting line-up, with former Albion players Max Venables and Jamie Salter coming into the team. Saltash star Venables will start on the wing, while Salter takes over at hooker.

Elsewhere, prop Ellis Genge, who featured for Albion last season as a dual-registered player from Bristol, has been named in England’s Junior World Cup squad.


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