McRoberts named new Portsmouth head coach

Jim Pearce
Jim Pearce
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IT IS all change at Portsmouth next season including the arrival of new senior coach Neil McRoberts.

The ex-Gosport & Fareham and Hampshire coach is taking charge of the London three south west club at Rugby Camp.

Director of rugby Jim Pearce is stepping down and taking a year out from the game.

But he is confident the club will be able to kick on and build from an excellent year.

He said: ‘This year has been fantastic for the club and I thank everyone that has been involved.

‘Both on and off the field there has been progression and I strongly believe there is more to come.

‘Next season I will be taking a sabbatical to spend more time with my family.

‘My intention is to return for the 2019-20 season again, in the director of rugby position and I’d like to thank Ed Neville and the committee for their understanding in this matter.

‘Jason Ford also leaves the coaching team as his intention was always to do just one year.

‘I can’t thank Jason enough as his initial intention was to do three or four sessions a month and I think he only missed that number of sessions all season.

‘James Henriet also leaves the coaching team as he finishes his University course.

‘I am pleased to announce the appointment of Neil McRoberts as head coach.

‘Having played for Leicester Tigers Academy while at university and Havant, along with coaching Gosport and Fareham in London one south, and the full men’s Hampshire side his appointment is a real coup for the club.

‘Neil’s first appointment was the retention of Matt Farnes who will continue as backs coach.

‘Matt has had a fantastic first season as player/coach of the club with the backs showing good skill and flare through the season.’

‘Rupert Neville will continue to help with the development of players skills and remains as skills coach.

‘Dave Duffus will remain coaching the three quarters while Ben Lanigan is appointed as a forwards, primarily looking after front row.

‘We look forward to helping his development as a coach.’