Marc Roberts, who fulfils a key full-time role for the Welsh Rugby Union as Regional Performance Manager for North Wales, has been appointed as Wrexham Rugby Club's new Head Coach. He will coach in his own time and, to do so successfully, will be assisted by a coaching team comprising of Stewart Milne and Dave Cheesbrough.
Club Chairman Barry Williams, who has been working hard with the Wrexham Rugby Board to make the new appointment, said at the weekend. "We are delighted that someone of Marc's calibre is taking on the role and are confident that the future development of players and playing standards is in very safe hands."
Roberts is no stranger to Wrexham Rugby Club, having played for the club's Under 19 Youth Team before he left to study at University. In the Nineties he was employed by Wrexham Borough Council in conjunction the WRU as a Rugby Development Officer for the Wrexham area, and then he had his first taste of regular coaching when he took charge of Wrexham Seconds at the beginning of the new Millennium.
In 2003, Marc Roberts played a handful of games for Wrexham Firsts when they were in the top division of North Wales rugby. Since then, however, playing standards have deteriorated and the senior side fell away badly at the end of last season to finish in seventh place in North Wales Division Two.
Looking forward to his new challenge, Roberts said, "I have spent a lot of time at Wrexham and have no illusion of what lies in front of us. The future looks bright with a successful youth side producing players who will play a key role in the creation of a good new senior side. I've already spoken to a number of players and am very excited at the prospects for the new season".
"It's clear to me that we have to prioritize the creation of a stimulating, vibrant and challenging senior environment that puts players first. Once that is in place we can start to formulate some performance goals" he added.
Porthcawl recently received a WRU facilities grant and funding from Natwest RugbyForce in order to give their changing rooms a facelift. This came after receiving £10,000 in a WRU facilities grant last year to tarmac their car park. The improvements have already helped to make the club more accessible, not only for their own members and players but for the whole community.
The Welsh Rugby Union has launched a new, accredited Safeguarding and Protecting Children course - funded by the WRU and delivered in partnership with Sport Wales and the NSPCC - fo rugby club volunteers around Wales.
The SWALEC semi-final draws threw up some mouth-watering clashes in the Cup, Plate and Bowl as the 12 teams aim for the Millennium Stadium Finals Day. All the semi-finals are to be played on the weekend of April 12.
Welsh whistler Rhys Thomas continues to scale the heights of the game as he prepares to be an official in this weekend's Hong Kong Sevens tournament, undoubtedly the showpiece event on the World Series calendar.
Wales International Ian Evans and Wales and Lions legend Scott Quinnell swapped rugby balls for paint pots at Tonna during the RBS 6 Nations. They surprised club players with a special clubhouse makeover to launch NatWest RugbyForce 2014 - a programme developed in partnership with the WRU to make rugby clubs stronger businesses by improving and renovating their facilities with the support of volunteers and the local community.
Fresh from claiming the Bowl honours in Tokyo last Sunday, the Wales Sevens squad have settled into their routine as they prepare for this weekend's Hong Kong tournament where Iolo Evans is aiming high, as WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie discovers.