Andrew Symons to take reins at Windsor RFC ahead of switch to new division

Windsor are set to be switched into a new division next season and the fresh start will be accompanied by the arrival of a new head coach.

Captain Chris Emmett revealed this week the club had chosen its new coach, with former professional Andrew Symons set to take the reins at Home Park.

Symons has vast experience in the game, both in a professional and grassroots capacity.

The 30-year-old will succeed Neal Kennedy, who stepped up to take on the role for much of this season after Jack Pattinson was forced to stand down due to his increased coaching commitments at London Irish. Kennedy is likely to remain at the club in a coaching and mentoring capacity

“We put an advert out a couple of months ago for a head coach to guide us through next season and we had a range of really great applicants from quite literally far and wide,” said Emmett.

“We shortlisted it down to interviewing a handful candidates and Andrew Symons really stuck out. He’s just retired as a professional, having most recently played in France in the Pro D2. He was also formally contracted at Worcester [Warriors], Gloucester, and Northampton [Saints] as well so he’s got a history in the game of over 10 years. He’s had some really good experience of academy coaching too throughout his time playing for these clubs.

“Andrew used to play inside centre, a little bit of 10, and his brother Matt is still currently playing for Harlequins in the second row. We feel that he is going to bring some great experience to the club and the way he spoke about wanting to get involved with grassroots rugby and build a team was really encouraging.

“He came down to the league lunch on Saturday and met a lot of the players and some of the old boys around the club as well.

“We’ve still got a few more things to finalise over the coming months with other coaching positions and things like that for next year but he’s locked in.

“Andrew is a young man, he’s only 30-years-old, so he will have lots of new ideas. I’m very excited to be working with him and seeing what we can achieve.”

Windsor's new league hasn't yet been confirmed, however, Emmett expects they'll come up against more clubs from South West London which he says is an exciting and challenging prospect.

“From what I’m aware, we will be playing a few more teams in and around South West London,” said Emmett. “That is quite exciting – we will be coming up against teams we haven’t played before at all. From my understanding, Beaconsfield will be in our league next year, as well as Amersham and London Irish Wild Geese but I think more teams will be closer to the capital. I think it’s quite good to freshen things up.

“It will be good fun as well going into London if the guys want to go out in town afterwards and have a beer.”

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