RUGBY: Budgen adding to club’s push

This Is Wiltshire: Chris Budgen (left) with Marlborough RFC chairman Gary Sharp Chris Budgen (left) with Marlborough RFC chairman Gary Sharp

MARLBOROUGH have enlisted some heavyweight help to boost their playing section with former Aviva Premiership star Chris Budgen joining the club’s coaching staff.

Former Northampton and Exeter Chiefs prop forward Budgen, who lives in Tidworth, will coach the club’s Colts team next season as they try to smooth the transition between junior and senior rugby at The Common.

The 40-year-old was the Aviva Premiership’s oldest player before retiring at the end of the recent campaign after helping the Chiefs back into next season’s Heineken Cup.

He had combined professional rugby with being a lance corporal in the Army, playing in his 15th Army versus Navy match at Twickenham recently, and helped Marlborough’s U16 age group towards the end of the season.

Club chairman Gary Sharp said: “The club have asked Chris to become the head coach of the Colts for the 2013/14 season believing this to be a vital role in the development of its youth players and transition into the senior teams.

“His experience and contacts will be very beneficial to the two senior sides as well as with the younger age groups.

“Marlborough is investing in building a youth section, as we see this as a strong foundation for the club in the future.

“We believe this is a natural extension of a highly successful mini and junior section and see the appointment of Chris as a significant addition to Marlborough RFC as it strives for continued success at all levels.”

The news is a boost for the club, who last week learned that their first team had been relegated to Dorset & Wilts Two North after the constitution of the South West leagues for 2013-14 was revealed.

Marlborough finished second bottom of Dorset & Wilts One North this season.

The club is still on the lookout for more players, coaches and volunteers. Contact either Mike Banfield (seniors) on 07786 916318 or Andrew Horwood (Colts) on 07802 838335.

Touch rugby will also take place at the club throughout the summer on Tuesday and Thursdays (6pm).

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