Lowestoft and Yarmouth Rugby Club appoint high-profile new coach

Action from last season's Junior Cup final, in which Thetford beat Lowestoft & Yarmouth (blue) at Cr

Action from last season's Junior Cup final, in which Thetford beat Lowestoft & Yarmouth (blue) at Crusaders during the Woodforde's Big Rugby Day. Picture: Steve Adams - Credit: Steve Adams

Lowestoft & Yarmouth have unveiled former Scotland international hooker Rob Cunningham as their new head coach.

Now 65, Cunningham arrives at Gunton Park after a long career that has included spells with some top clubs both as a player and working on the sidelines.

He played up front for Gosforth and Bath, two of the most successful club sides in the 1970s and 80s as well as for Scotland, before spending time as head coach at Saracens and Bristol.

Cunningham takes over from Phil Sharpe, who left the club towards the end of last season, a campaign that saw the club struggling to make an impact in London Division Three North-East and finish in the bottom half of the table.

His extensive experience will be applied towards an ambitious plan to secure promotion to RFU National League Three London & SE within five years, and to the development of players and coaches, in partnership with local schools and Yarmouth College.

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He has worked with and been coached by some of the most respected coaches in the country including: Jim Telfer (Scotland), Jack Rowell (Bath), and Chalkie White (Leicester).

He has also assisted a number of junior clubs including Bracknell, now in National League Three South-West and Blyth of Northumberland/Durham Division Two to attract and accelerate player development, and to educate coaches.

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When at Gosforth, Cunningham was introduced to strength and conditioning training specifically for rugby at Gateshead Stadium.

On joining Bath in 1981 he linked up with Tom Hudson, head of Bath University's sports science department, who became Bath's strength and conditioning coach – the first professional set up in the amateur era.

He was Saracens head coach between 1993 and 1996, when Sarries' squad including the likes of Michael Lynagh, Phillipe Sella, Richard Hill and Kyran Bracken.

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