Preparations for the 2017 Bill Beaumont County Championship campaign started with a team building evening at St Austell Brewery visitor centre.
At the event the new backs coach who will work alongside head coach Graham Dawe was introduced. Marek Churcher, head coach at Redruth RFC has appointed to the role for the coming season.
CRFU President Peter James said “I am delighted to welcome Marek as part of the coaching team to work alongside Graham Dawe for the coming season. It is pleasing to see a talented Cornwall club coach have the opportunity to work with the full county squad”
Marek said, “It was a real honour to be considered for the position of backs coach for the county team. It is somewhat ironic that I was coached by Graham when I played for Plymouth Albion, and of course was immensely proud to have pulled on the black and gold at senior level as well. There is vibrancy about the whole set up and I am really looking forward to getting stuck into my new role”
Marek grew up in Penryn went on to play for Redruth and Plymouth Albion and earned 8 caps playing for Cornwall. He has attained his level 4 RFU coaching qualification, and works with Exeter Chiefs, primarily with the Academy and in conjunction works at Truro College with the rugby Academy. Marek is currently the head coach of National League 2 side Redruth RFC.
CRFU Chair Denis Preece said “It is a privilege to welcome Marek into the Cornwall set up and I am sure he will have a big influence on individuals and the team working alongside Graham”
The team building event is designed so that coaches and players can meet informally and discuss in detail the training plans for the Championship. This was felt an ideal time to introduce the new backs coach to the squad.
Cornwall coach Graham Dawe said, “We have been steadily putting in the building blocks for the 2017 season with players, medics etc. and this appointment is one of the final pieces. Marek is a highly-respected coach, working not only with Truro College, Exeter Chiefs Academy but is also head coach at National League 2 side Redruth. He brings a wealth of knowledge both technically but also in-depth player knowledge at all age levels within the county.”
Also assisting Graham this season will be Tristan Lark as strength and conditioning coach, and he went on to say “I’m pleased to welcome Marek to be part of the coaching team, and Rhodri McAtee who is also on board as a skills development coach. I look forward to working closely with all of them over the coming months”
Rhodri played at Worcester Warriors then the Cornish Pirates from 2004 – 2012 before joining Plymouth Albion. He has represented the Barbarians and also won a gold medal at the Rugby world Cup Sevens representing Wales in 2009 Dubai. Marek, Rhodri and Tristan have all represented Cornwall at senior level.
Cornwall’s first training session will be early in February in preparation for the Tamar Cup, and County Championship games.
As part of the warm-up for the Championship Cornwall face Devon in the Tamar Cup at Tiverton RFC on Monday 10 April.
The County Championship fixtures are:
Surrey v Cornwall on Saturday 6 May at Richmond RFC
Devon v Cornwall on Saturday 13 May at Ivybridge RFC
Cornwall v Hertfordshire on Saturday 20 May at Camborne RFC