COMMUNITY Group is pleased to announce the expansion of the Stourbridge Rugby Community Department with the employment of two new members of staff.

Joining Head of Community, Chad Thorne is Clarkson McLeod and Jacob Piggott-Denison who have been appointed Rugby Development Manager and Community Rugby Coach respectively.

Our Rugby Development Manager is responsible for leading and managing rugby and multi-sport camps, with our Community Rugby Coach delivering high-quality sessions.

This announcement follows similar employments at Bournville RFC and Fylde Rugby Community Foundation.

With more than 5,300 people benefiting from our Community Group-powered programmes at clubs and in local schools last year, we want to continue to build our partnerships with our Partners.

Clarkson came through the Counties Manukau Steelers Academy in New Zealand, going on to play for Dromore RFC (Northern Ireland), Patumahoe Rugby Club (New Zealand) and Durham University.

He has a Bachelor of Education (Teaching) degree from the University of Auckland and a Master of Arts (Education) from Durham, going on to work in education having most recently been a Year 6 teacher at Dene House Primary.

Clarkson said: “I’m excited to add my own flavour to the already dynamic community team at Stourbridge Rugby. Coming from New Zealand, the dream is to make a career in rugby. While the ideal was to be an All Black, the opportunity to share my knowledge and passion with today’s youth was a pretty good second. This, paired with my background in primary school teaching and desire to help students learn, grow and develop while identifying their potential, made joining Community Group as a Rugby Development Manager an opportunity that I simply could not turn down.”

Jacob is a member of the first team squad at Stourbridge RFC and has spent the last two years as a part-time rugby coach with Community Group.

He graduated from the University of Birmingham with a degree in BSc Sport, Physical Education & Coaching Science and previously spent six years as a swimming teacher.

Jacob said: “Community Group have been great with me right from the start, so I’m very pleased to be working with them. In the coming year, I want to feel as though I am making a difference for some of the children through the rugby sessions at schools, and hopefully inspire them to start playing at their local club.”

Community Group Managing Director, Simon Price, added: We are delighted to welcome Clarkson and Jacob to the team. We are working incredibly hard to support Stourbridge RFC and the wider community, and we have already seen both make a positive impact within local schools and the club – welcome to the team!”

If you would like to know more about how Community Group can support your club, please get in touch by clicking HERE.