23rd Jun, 2018

Solomons completes Warriors coaching revamp

Rob George 7th Mar, 2018

LONG-SERVING coaches Sam Vesty and Simon Cross will both leave Sixways at the end of the campaign as director of rugby Alan Solomons’ Warriors revamp of his coaching staff came to a close.

Backs coach Vesty has been at Sixways for five years after joining as transition coach before being promoted to his current role in February 2015.

Meanwhile, 37-year-old Cross will leave Warriors after a five-year spell. He joined Warriors as defence coach for the 2013/14 season before combining a dual role as breakdown coach at Warriors alongside being head coach at Birmingham Moseley.

“There have been some highs and lows with lots of comings and goings but I have learnt a lot from these experiences and take away some very fond memories,” Vesty said.

“I want to thank the fans for their support and wish all the players and backroom staff the very best for the future and I will always look forward to coming back to Sixways.”

Neil Doak will move to Warriors in the summer as attack and backs coach on a two-year deal. As a player, the former scrum-half made his debut for Ulster in 1995 and went on to make 85 appearances for them before retiring from the game in 2005.

Following his retirement, he worked within the Ulster Academy as elite player development manager and headed up the Ulster Under-19s and Under-20s.

Doak was quickly promoted to the senior set-up in 2007 where he took up the role of skills coach and Ulster A head coach and then in 2008 became Ulster attack and backs coach.

He was credited with transforming Ulster into one of the most potent attacking sides in Europe, helping steer them to the Heineken Cup final in 2012 at Twickenham.

Doak became head coach of Ulster in 2014, leading them to consecutive Pro 12 semi-finals in the 2014/15 and 2015/16 seasons, before leaving his post last summer.

The 45-year-old Ulsterman will be the second new addition to the coaching team for the 2018/19 campaign, following the news last month that Rory Duncan will move to Sixways as head coach from the Cheetahs.

Solomons paid tribute to the outgoing coaches for their contribution and said the arrival of ‘first-rate’ coach Doak would add value to Warriors’ attack and backline.

Doak said: “The club has huge potential and hopefully I can help be a part of taking Warriors up the Premiership table.”

Mefin Davies has signed a new two-year contract as the club’s scrum and assistant forwards coach.

The 45-year-old joined the Warriors coaching set-up in the summer of 2014, initially to assist the academy forwards.

He later became part of the first-team coaching set-up and has played a vital role in the development of the club’s forwards, helping to nurture the likes of Nick Schonert, Jack Singleton and Gareth Milasinovich as well as a whole host of other players who have progressed at Sixways.

Defence and kicking strategy coach Omar Mouneimne has committed his future to the club by signing a new two-year deal.

The South African, who took on his role at Sixways last April, has played a crucial role in Warriors’ improved defensive performances this season.

Since Mouneimne arrived at Sixways, the average number of tries and points Warriors have conceded per match has significantly reduced compared to the same number of matches immediately before his arrival.

On the field, Warriors went into a fortnight’s break from Aviva Premiership action with a 34-5 defeat at Sixways against Leicester Tigers.

An Alafoti Faosiliva try was Warriors’ sole contribution to the scoreboard and leaves the Sixways outfit 12 points ahead of basement side London Irish with five games left to play.

Warriors return to action with a trip to Sale on Saturday, March 24.

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