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Marsters takes over the reins as North Walsham opt for continuity

North Walsham's new head of rugby Johnny Marsters Picture: NWRFC

North Walsham's new head of rugby Johnny Marsters Picture: NWRFC

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North Walsham have gone for continuity and appointed Johnny Marsters as Head of Rugby.

He will succeed James Brooks, who has joined National League One Old Elthamians.

The 45-year-old Marsters has been at Scottow since 2015 and was a key member of Brooks’ coaching team, with responsibility for the club’s second VX, the Raiders, as well as working with the forwards throughout the club and mentoring Colts’ progress into senior rugby.

New Zealand-born Marsters, who has been involved in coaching for over 20 years, captained the All Blacks at Under 21 level and in a long professional career played for Natal Sharks and Northern Free State in South Africa and then Swansea and Saracens, before going part time with London Welsh and Ealing.

He said: “North Walsham is a real community rugby club with great traditions and beliefs.

“The Vikings have a young, talented squad, welcoming of newcomers, that is eager to learn and improve together. I’m really excited about helping them and the whole club develop.”

Working in construction, Marsters lives in Stalham with his wife and three children.

Son Ollie “enjoys all the values that rugby offers” playing for the Under 16s and in Leicester Tigers’ Development Programme.

Assistant coaches will include senior players James Knight and Ryan Oakes, with responsibility for the youth and minis and schools.

Marsters is looking for a Raiders coach and is keen to hear from anyone interested.

“I’m very pleased with these appointments, which were made jointly with our partners, the Wensum Trust, with whom the coaching team will continue to work,” said Director of Rugby Al Hepburn.

“I look forward to working with Johnny building on the excellent progress we have made over the last two years. He brings a wealth of experience and with James and Ryan working with him to develop our youth programmes this continues to be an exciting period for the club.”

The Vikings begin their league season on September 1 at home to Fullerians.

Training, which is on Tuesdays and Thursdays, started this week and newcomers are assured of a warm welcome.

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