RUGBY: Orkney takes over as head coach at OPMs, while a number of clubs handed opening-day derby matches

DEVON One side OPMs have appointed Rick Orkney as their new head coach for the 2019-20 season.

Orkney, who is director of sport at Devonport High School, has been assistant coach at OPMs since 2017, but will now move up following Howard Turner’s decision to step down as head coach.

Orkney was previously part of the coaching team at Teignmouth between 2011 and 2015 and during his playing career had spells at Exeter, Penryn and Tiverton.

OPMs have also confirmed that Billy Garratt will continue as their first team skipper, with Sammy Matts named as vice-captain. Sean Cook becomes team manager and scrum coach.

The Elburton-based club will begin pre-season training on Thursday, July 11 at King George V Playing Fields.

They will begin their league season with three Plymouth consecutive derby matches. They will start with a home game against Old Techs on September 14 before visiting Plymouth Argaum the following week and then entertaining Tamar Saracens.

Argaum will start life back in Devon One with an away trip to New Cross, while Sarries will kick-off their new campaign with a long journey to league newcomers Ilfracombe.

The other South West RFU leagues will begin a week earlier on September 7.

Both Ivybridge and Devonport Services have been handed big Devon derby matches on the opening day of the 2019-20 season.

Ivybridge will visit old rivals Exmouth in the South West Premier, while Devonport Services will host Newton Abbot at the Rectory in their South West One season opener.

Ivybridge face a blank weekend on the second week of the season after their league was left with just 13 teams following Birmingham-Solihull’s decision to pull out of the RFU league structure, meaning no Midlands club were transfer into the South West Premier.

Ivybridge’s first home game will be against newly-promoted Launceston on September 21.

Saltash will start the Western Counties West season with a trip to new boys Penryn before going to Wiveliscombe the following week. Their first home match will be against St Austell on September 21.

Tavistock coach Hammy Kerswill will visit his former club, North Tawton, on the opening day of the Cornwall/Devon League season. North Tawton were promoted from Devon One last season. Tavistock’s first home game will be against Paignton.

Plymstock Albion Oaks are also away on the opening day of the season. They have to make the long trip to Pirates Amateurs before a trip to Veor the following Saturday. Their first home game will be against South Molton on September 21.

Liskeard-Looe have been handed a home match to start their new campaign. They will host Topsham at Lux Park before visiting Torquay Athletic.

South West Premier fixtures can be viewed HERE.

South West One fixtures can be viewed HERE.

Western Counties West fixtures can be viewed HERE.

Cornwall/Devon League fixtures can be viewed HERE

Devon One fixtures can be viewed HERE.

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