New forwards oach Ed Williamson, the former Newcastle Falcons, Leeds Carnegie and London Welsh player, this week starts planning Rotherham Titans’ pre-season training programme which will be unveiled to the squad when it reports back on June 20.
Williams, 29,has already had preliminary discussions with Head Coach Lee Blackett on such issues as the fitness levels needed by the squad as they prepare for the new Championship season.
“ I am thrilled about coming to Rotherham and the opportunity to both play and coach at this level is something which comes rarely.
“Lee and I have similiar views on how rugby should be played.We believe in a simple game plan and our job is to encourage the players to carry it out well.
“I am impressed with the quality of the squad and we should be aiming to be pushing to finish in the top four, but the overall aim is to make sure that Rotherham will always be a competitive side in the Championship,” said Williamson who appeared in more than 70 top class games for Newcastle and in more than a dozen for London Welsh in the Premiership and cup competitions.”
Appointed last week, Rotherham’s new number two has the tough challenge of being both a coach and a player.
“I believe there is a lot of life left in me as a player. I feel fresh ,strong and fit and this is a good time as any to begin coaching in the Championship.
“As a coach I want to treat the Rotherham players as I would have wanted to have been treated when I was playing in the Premiership.
“As a player-coach,you have to perform well as a coach during the week and then do well in games.
“It’s going to be hard to do both jobs well, but I have learnt lots of things from the coaches I have played under, such as Rob Andrew and Alan Tait, both British Lions who were coaching at Newcastle.”
Williamson says he is “massively optimistic” about Rotherham’s chances next season, not least when they are at home:
“I know how hard it is playing at Clifton Lane because I played there for Leeds. Rotherham at home is a tough ask for any side in the Championship. The crowd are excellent and make life uncomfortable for visitors.”
A powerful and aggressive back row forward,Williamson is precisely the sort of assistant coach Blackett was searching for;he has played in the Premiership and is keen to expand his coaching career.
Blackett has already put together a squad of 27 players for next season,but it is thought he would like to recruit another two forwards.