Woodrow goes back to his roots to help Dings reach their potential
NATIONAL League Two South outfit Dings Crusaders have announced their coaching team ahead of the new season.
Former Scotland and Bristol prop David Hilton continues to look after the forwards, while his former Bristol team-mate Sam Cox, will take charge of defence.
Mark Woodrow also returns to his spiritual home, and will be responsible for attack.
Woodrow, who began his playing career at Dings as a junior, scored the match-winning try that helped elevate his club into the National Leagues in 2002, before moving on to play professional rugby with Birmingham & Solihull. The fly-half has also appeared for Bristol, Nottingham and Doncaster as well as playing Heineken Cup rugby with Italian side Viadana. The 31-year-old, who turned down opportunities to extend his semi-professional career next season, decided that the time was right to return to his boyhood club as a player coach.
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He said: "I had a couple of offers to play at a higher standard, and there were a few other local clubs that showed an interested in signing me. But Dings is my club, and I always said that I wanted to come back here when I finished professional rugby.
"The coaching set up here is fantastic. People like of 'Hilts' (Dave Hilton) and 'Coxy (Sam Cox), bring a tremendous amount of knowledge and experience, and I'm hoping I can add something to the mix.
" I definitely don't think I know everything – every day is a school day – but hopefully we can all learn a thing or two along the way. I think I'm a positive sort of bloke with a lot of energy and enthusiasm, and I'm hoping that those characteristics will rub off on the players."
The new coaching team will be co-ordinated by Lead Coach Alex Guest, and Woodrow believes his role is vital.
He said: "All three of us will be playing next season, so it's important that we have a view from the touchline, to give us a different perspective."
Dings have also re-signed lock Dave Bufton from Taunton, back-rower Mike Uren from UWIC, centre Jack Nowell from Broad Plain and full-back Callum Partridge from Bristol Telephones, and have also announced that housing giant Barratt Holmes will be their main sponsor.