RUGBY: Chippenham ring changes

This Is Wiltshire: Dale Burn (left) with Chippenham head coach Danny Thomas Dale Burn (left) with Chippenham head coach Danny Thomas

CHIPPENHAM have shaken up their senior section management in the wake of the club's likely relegation to South West level rugby at the end of the season.

The Allington Field side, currently bottom of National Three South West, have parted company with both senior chairman Kevin Snape and assistant coach Dale Burn as they plot the way forward under head coach Danny Thomas.

The club have won just four of their 22 league matches to date this season and have been beset by problems, with both injuries and unavailability taking their toll on a squad, which finished a best-ever sixth in the table under former coach Jason Forster last season.

A club statement said: "Big changes at the club have been announced by the board, with the volunteer senior chairman Kevin Snape being asked to stand down and the assistant coach Dale Burns having stepped down by agreement.

"The board have been reviewing for many months how the club should move forward particularly in the light of the new strategy agreed by the membership last summer.

"It has become clear that the senior players on the whole this season have not been responding to the leadership given in the senior section and it was felt by the board of the club, following the disappointing performance last Saturday against Brixham that new direction is needed before the end of season to ensure continuity for the next.

"Kevin has made a phenomenal contribution to the club during the last four years during which time we have seen three head coaches and the best achievement in the history of the club with sixth place in National Three last season.

"Dale has also contributed to the senior section initially in support of last season’s coach Jason Forster and this year in support of new head coach Danny Thomas.

"The board of the club continues to review how we can best achieve our strategy and what we believe is our rightful place in South West One.

"It is a difficult and sad time but the club has to be bigger than all of our individual members and indeed volunteers. We must strive for an improving and successful future. Our up and coming players are owed this.''

MORE ON THIS STORY IN THURSDAY'S GAZETTE & HERALD

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