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Championship club launch new head coach search as double-jobbing Wasps assistant set to leave

By Sam Smith
(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

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Part-time Wasps scrum coach Neil Fowkes will quit his role as Nottingham head coach at the end of the current Championship campaign, ending a 30-year plus association with the club for the 40-year-old ex-loosehead who took over the reins in 2018 when Ian Costello was recruited as a Wasps assistant. 


It was February 2020 when Fowkes signed a contract extension taking him through to the end of the 2020/21 Championship season, a campaign that ultimately had a delayed start and Nottingham have so far lost all three matches and are bottom of the table.  

Fowkes started with the Lady Bay club as an U7s minis player, going on to make 210 first-team appearances between 1999 and 2011 before switching to coaching and working alongside Glenn Delaney, Martin Haag and Costello before stepping up to become the head coach. 

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However, Fowkes linked up with Wasps in a part-time capacity for last summer’s post-lockdown resumption of the suspended 2019/20 season and his double jobbing between the Gallagher Premiership and Championship will now end in a few months’ time.

Nottingham chief operating officer Steve Smith told the club website: “Neil Fowkes has been an integral part of the club during my time here and been an exceptional colleague and friend, so it’s incredibly sad to see him leave after all this time. 

“Having said that, Neil has worked incredibly hard to develop as a coach and leader over his time with the club and he feels the time is right to move on to a new challenge.  Everybody at Nottingham would like to wish Neil all the best in his future career and we know he is going to be a huge success.”


Fowkes added: “Leaving the club is a massive decision for me and my family and one that I haven’t taken lightly. However hard the decision has been I feel that the time is right for a new challenge. I know the club is in great hands and will continue to evolve as it moves forward.

“The opportunity to be the head coach of your boyhood club doesn’t happen to many people and I am immensely proud to have been given the responsibility of leading the club over the last three years and to be a small part of its history. Looking back, I can honestly say that I have enjoyed every one of my 22 years involved in the senior club, from playing through to coaching. As at any club, there have been some ups and downs along the way, going from minutes away from relegation out of the National Leagues in the 2002/2003 season to promotion the year after is just one.”


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