Jersey Reds have confirmed a coaching reshuffle as members of the 2021/22 squad report for pre-season training.
With Assistant Coach Ed Robinson set to take up an appointment with a Gallagher Premiership club later in the summer, former player Tom Williams (pictured above) has been appointed in an interim role with a focus on attack skills and the backs. Meanwhile Rob Webber, starting his second season in coaching with the Reds, is promoted to the role of Head Coach.
Robinson (28), moved to Jersey three years ago and has gained a growing reputation for his coaching skills, leading to two temporary assignments with England this year. He is currently working with Eddie Jones and the national squad ahead of internationals against the USA and Canada, and will return to Jersey for a brief period later this month before moving to his new Premiership role.
Ahead of Robinson becoming the latest in a line of Reds’ players and coaching staff to move to the top-flight, Director of Rugby Harvey Biljon said: “Ed has been a massive asset to the club over the past three seasons.
“While we will be sorry to lose him, we recognise that he had the same aspirations as many of the players who have been with the Reds in recent seasons to make the step up. Ed fully deserves his opportunity and we wish him all the best in his new role once he sets sail.”
Robinson’s imminent departure has created an opportunity for Williams, 30, who spent the past two seasons as a Reds’ player after signing from Cardiff Blues in 2019. He will take his first steps in coaching in a professional environment, working with Robinson during a handover period and subsequently coaching his former team-mates alongside Biljon and Webber.
Biljon said: “This is a great opportunity for Tom to progress into the next stage of his rugby career. He has already worked with Jersey Reds Women and shown great interest and ability to learn as a coach.
“We are looking forward to working alongside Tom and to see him develop as a coach during the coming months.”
Webber (34) moved to Jersey in summer 2020 to take his up his first coaching role at the end of a long professional career that saw him win 16 England caps as well as making around 300 appearances for Wasps, Bath and Sale Sharks.
Biljon said: “Rob has made a great start as a coach and quickly became a major influence for our squad as we built towards the 2020/21 season and then embarked on our Championship season.
“Having cut his teeth in coaching over the past year, we believe Rob has a lot more to offer and will continue to develop his skills after stepping up to the Head Coach role.”
The Reds are also preparing to say farewell to another member of the ‘back-room’ team who has earned an opportunity with a top-flight club. Head of Analysis Shaun Slater will be moving to Gallagher Premiership outfit Bristol Bears after three seasons with the Reds.
After a month off since the end of the last Greene King IPA Championship season, members of the Reds’ 1st XV squad report back to Stade Santander International this week.
Training will build towards friendly matches in August and early September, including a home clash with Leicester Tigers on Friday August 27th, and the expected start for the Greene King IPA Championship in mid-September.