BRIXHAM hooker Chey Bryce has taken over as head coach of Cornwall/Devon League side Tamar Saracens.
The Devon forward is currently unable to play due to a serious knee injury and so has agreed to help out Saracens in the meantime.
He will work alongside Dan Leeson, who has returned to the Ernesettle-based club, and Pete Lethbridge.
Saracens, who sit second-from-bottom of the Cornwall/Devon League, needed to appoint a new coach following the departure of Stuart Busfield, who left the club last week after helping them to two successive promotions.
“Chey has taken on the head coach’s role,” said Leeson. “And I have gone back to them to take the backs and Pete the forwards. Tim Rogers is also still involved doing the fitness side.
“Chey is waiting for a ligament operation on his knee, but it’s good to have him on board. He’s given the players a lift.
“There’s a bit of new knowledge from Chey and a bit of old knowledge from myself and Pete and, hopefully, we can make quite a little decent coaching team.”
He added: “The aim is to keep ourselves in the league, build on it over the summer and then go again next season.
“But it is going to be a tough few months.”
As well as Busfield’s departure, Saracens have also lost back Joe Wyatt, who has followed in the footsteps of Jack Martin and Arran Webb and moved to Western Counties West side Devonport Services. All three were key players in getting Saracens promoted. Clubman Ian Nicol has also left the city side.
“Unfortunately, we have also lost a couple of players over the last few weeks, so we are not only restructuring the coaching set-up, but also the squad as well,” said Leeson.
“However, we still have the makings of a very good club. We just need to get back on track.”
He added: “This season is a learning curve for Tamar Saracens as this is the highest they have ever been up.
“The Devon/Cornwall League is a tough one to get into, but an easy league to fall out of.
“However, we have got a lot of experience within the club on the coaching side now and we are addressing issues and hopefully we are going to stay up.”
Saracens have a big game on Saturday when they host fellow strugglers Topsham at Ernesettle.