Plymouth Albion / Rugby

Parkes is Plymouth Albion’s new head coach

Dan parkesDAN PARKES is Plymouth Albion’s new head coach.

The former Royal Navy man is believed to have met with Albion officials on Tuesday to agree the deal, which will see him work with former Wigan Warrior player Martin Hall, who as expected, will be director of rugby.

Parkes has been coach at National Three South West side Brixham, who have confirmed he is to leave them to return to Brickfields, although Albion themselves have not officially commented and they did not invite all the mainstream media to a press conference.

The 42-year-old had two spells at Albion as player, with the last coming between 2001 and 2005, where he made 53 appearances at prop before moving on to the Cornish Pirates and then Exeter Chiefs, where he had played in 2000.

Parkes, who was part of Devon’s coaching team this year, was linked with Albion before James Shanahan and Rhys Oakley joined in 2013. He has never made any secret of his desire to return to Plymouth.

The ex-Navy players’ appointment could also open the door for Kitworld to supply Albion’s new shirts.

Parkes, who has so far been unavailable for comment, is set to inherit a large majority of the Albion side that won 22 out of 30 games last season.

Although so far only six players have signed up for next term – Nile Dacres, Herbie Stupple, Dan Pullinger, Matt Shepherd, Jon Dawe and Seti Raumakita – it is believed a number of others will re-sign shortly, including Sam Matavesi, who is hoping to join the Navy, and Rupert Freestone. Most of the Albion squad last season had West Country links and do not want to leave the area, plus most higher league clubs had already finalised their squads before Plymouth went into administration leaving options limited for the players.

Parkes worked with Hall for a short spell at Brixham. Hall was Parkes’ assistant but the arrangement only lasted a short time.

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