A week today the Rotherham Titans’ squad report back for pre-season training – only five weeks after playing their last game in the Championship play-offs against Bristol.
However, it’s not just the players – 16 new signings join the 20 that are staying – who face the challenge of being at the top of their game before the new campaign starts in September.
Another fresh figure at Clifton Lane is new forwards’ coach Steve Salvin who takes over from the departing Ed Williamson.
From Sheffield, Alvin’s career as a prop forward was ended by a serious shoulder injury ten years ago which forced him to develop his talent in other directions.
After spending three years as a community RFU coach in South Yorkshire, Alvin moved to Doncaster Knights as their academy manager and then switched to the head coach role at Sheffield Tigers between 2010 and 2012.
His last job before being appointed at Rotherham was with the Worcester Warriors’ academy where Salvin was coaching the emerging talent.
“I want to be the best coach I can possibly be because I was never fortunate enough to have had the playing career I would have loved,” he said.
“I hurt my shoulder playing at Don Valley for Rotherham’s A team against Leicester, so I’ve spent the last 10 years trying to become the best coach I can in terms of my technical knowledge and how to manage players.
“I want Rotherham to get back to the days when we had a pack clubs feared. At the moment, they don’t. I’ll be looking after the confrontational side of the game: scrums, line-outs and some aspects of the defence.
“In the time I played at Sheffield, Rotherham, Wakefield and at Bath University, I was not high on talent, but I was prepared to work very hard and I’ve carried that attitude into the way I coach.
“Scrums and line-outs will be my priority and Rotherham will continue the high tempo game Lee Blackett has implemented, but in order to do that, we need a stable scrum.”