There has been plenty of change in Gallagher Premiership academies over the summer, with over half the clubs facing significant change on their pathways, whether at the Academy Manager position or among the coaching staff.
Harlequins have brought in Chim Gale from Worcester Warriors as their Academy Manager, whilst Peter Walton has taken on the same role at Gloucester after moving on from his position as Academy Forwards Coach at Bristol Bears.
Mark Hopley has moved from Academy Head Coach to Academy Manager at Northampton Saints and Bath have brought in Craig Lilley, formerly Head of Rugby at King Edward’s School, for the same role, which was vacated by Andy Rock, Bath’s new Performance Director. At time of writing, only Worcester’s Academy Manager position remains unfilled.
The latest move, RugbyPass understand, will see former Bath legend Danny Grewcock link up with Bristol, as they aim to make up for the loss of Walton to Gloucester this summer.
Grewcock, 46, made over 150 appearances for Bath in a 10-year stint, before taking up a coaching role in the club’s academy. He eventually left his role as Academy Director at the club in 2016, taking up the Director of Sport position at Oundle School.
Grewcock is now set to join Clifton College as High Performance Rugby Director and will combine that role with a number of responsibilities at Bristol, which will include mentoring players in the club’s junior academy.
The former second row was regarded as one of the better moulders of young talent in English rugby before he left Bath in 2016, where he helped bring through the likes of Zach Mercer, Adam Hastings and Charlie Ewels. His involvement at Bristol comes at an opportune time following the loss of Walton to their West Country rivals.
Since Pat Lam’s arrival at Bristol as Director of Rugby, the club has stressed its commitment to the community and building the core of their squad around homegrown talent. The appointment of Grewcock at Clifton College should positively influence this, not only through his mentoring role in the Bristol academy, but also indirectly through his work at the college, who are one of the main contributors to the Bears’ junior academy each year.
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