Two promoted from within to coach Hornets first team

Jon Richardson and Jack Gadd.

Jon Richardson and Jack Gadd. - Credit: Archant

Hornets Rugby Club has promoted two coaches from within the club to take responsibility for the first team.

HORNETS are well advanced with their preparations for the forthcoming season, their second in National League 3 South West, and the first where their league status confirms them as the senior side in the town, at least for one season.

The squad have been in pre-season since the second week of Jun, the early stages focusing on the general fitness and strength and conditioning of the squad, while more latterly rugby preparation has come to the forefront.

The changes see Jack Gadd promoted to head coach and given wide responsibility for all on-field rugby matters for the combined first team and development team squads.

Jack has been the assistant to Alec Chase, who has left the club, for the last three seasons and in his specialist role as backs coach has been instrumental in a lot of the success that Hornets’ young squad has enjoyed over the last three years.

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Assisting Jack will be Jon Richardson, who has been promoted from development team coach, where he has overseen three successful seasons, culminating in the side being crowned champions of Somerset Division 1 last season and gaining promotion the Somerset Premier Division, the level that the first team were playing in only five seasons ago.

Jack, aged 24, joined Hornets as an eight-year-old and represented Hornets at all age levels through to Under-16s, before his rugby journey took him first to Filton College, where he was captain and from there he gained international honours with Wales at Under-18 and 20 level and was awarded a professional contract at Bristol, where he spent four seasons and played in the first team on 29 occasions.

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While at Bristol, Jack started his coaching career, helping out with the junior academy age groups. Three years ago, while still at Bristol, he took on the assistant coach role at Hornets, and when his professional career was cut short due to injury, he combined his coaching role with a playing role for the club where fitness allowed.

Alongside his Hornets coaching, Jack is now head of rugby at Weston College, a role that sees him working closely with Jon and with coaches from Weston RFC with a view to developing the strength of youth rugby in the town.

Jack has recently been accepted onto the RFU Level 3 coaching course and this combined with his strong local network and links into the professional game, makes him ideally placed to go on developing Hornets young squad of players.

Jon Richardson has also worked his way up through age group rugby and has been involved with the first team and development squads over the last three seasons.

He first coached Hornets Under-16s in 2005, and after a spell a Weston where he coached the Colts for two seasons, winning the Somerset Cup in both years, he returned to his home club in 2010.

From 2010, Jon coached one of most successful junior sides ever at the club. During the period, they won the Somerset Cup at four age levels, the Bristol Combination Cup at three age levels and at Under-17 level, the side were crowned national champions in the Under-17 Cup.

While preparation is going well, the coaching team are well aware that they have a challenging season ahead of them, with sides like Lydney, Dings Crusaders and Cleve joining what was already a strong league.

All the preparations will be put to the test when Hornets play Glamorgan Wanderers in a pre-season match at The Nest on August 22. This will be quickly followed by a series of tough league fixtures starting with the three sides referred to above.

In order to encourage support for these early fixtures and ensure that as many people as possible enjoy the spectacle of National League rugby in the town, Hornets will be offering free entrance to the Dings match on September 12 to all those who come to support the side in the match against Glamorgan Wanderers.

The Dings match will also have refreshments available throughout and include after match entertainment. All at Hornets are keen to encourage and welcome as many supporters as possible to visit The Nest as often as possible this season, and lend their support to the young squad as they look to consolidate their position the National League.

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