21 August 2020 / Club News

New Coaching Team

The management Committee of Abercwmboi RFC are delighted to announce that we have successfully recruited  Senior coaches of the highest calibre to continue with the progress made over the past few seasons. The new forwards coach is Mr. Gareth Gunter whilst the new backs coach is Mr. David Lynch

Gareth and David bring a combined 40 years’ experience of coaching at local, championship, premiership, and international level to the role of forwards and backs coach at Abercwmboi RFC. David joins us from last season’s role as backs coach at Newport RFC. Between them they most recently spent a combined total of 26 years at Bargoed RFC (David 17 seasons, Gareth 9 seasons). During this time David has set unprecedented achievements, not only winning every league from Division 6 to the Championship, multiple Mid District Cup winner trophies, but also combining that with a 55-game winning streak that spans over 3 seasons and consecutive promotions. Most recently the coaching duo achieved promotion from the Championship in 2015, guiding the Blues through three seasons in the Welsh Premiership (2016 – 2019). Having started their partnership back in 1998, both as players of Pontypool RFC where David captained for 2 seasons, Gareth also followed his 8-season tenor playing 4 seasons for Cardiff RFC. He then spent 4 seasons as Head Coach for the Norwegian National Rugby Union senior squad, guiding them though Word Cup qualifying group stages in 2015 and onto their highest ever IRB world ranking.

The senior players at the club are really enthused about this appointment, with Club Captain David Barry saying  "The appointment of 2 new coaches with the calibre of Gareth & Dai is a real coup for Abercwmboi RFC and a statement of intent from the club on where we aim to be in the near future. After meeting both coaches, I don't think the committee could have found a better fit, they both share a "work hard, play hard" mentality with not only an on-field focus but also a big emphasis on the social side of things, which we've always prided ourselves on here at the club. I know the boys are really excited to meet the coaches and can't wait to start working with them". Senior team manager Nick James also stated that he was looking forward to working with Gareth and Dai and he invited all players to meet with them on Tuesday 1st September @ 7.00 in the club.

Club Chairman, Mr. Phillip Webster added “I'd like to welcome Gareth and Dai to Abercwmboi Rugby Club, and I look forward to seeing them working with our senior  squad. As Nick James and Dai  Barry have said, they both come with bags of coaching  experience at a high level and we are fortunate to have them at our club.

When we advertised our coaching positions we didn't envisage such a great response. We met with a number of potential coaches who all had qualities that could have improved our squad but Gareth and Dai, with their experience and knowledge of the game,  impressed us and I feel they are the coaching team to move us further.

Finally I'd like to thank our outgoing coaches  Craig (Pancho) Evans for the past two seasons & Neil (Beany) Burnett for last season. Unfortunately both have had to step down because of work commitments although Neil will be around occasionally on training nights and match days, work allowing. Neil knows both Gareth and Dai well as they were his coaches at Bargoed RFC. Neil holds both in high regard.”


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