NORTHWICH RUFC have appointed a new director of rugby.

Phil Clarke is the new man at the helm, taking over from Martin Poste who stepped down last month.

Blacks chiefs say that Clarke’s pedigree as both a player and a coach more than qualifies him for this demanding and pivotal role within the club.

As a player he represented Blacks before a successful career in rugby development in Manchester, as well as being heavily involved in coach education and mentoring in the north west.

As a player, he was a force to be reckoned with, blending power with ball skills.

However, coaching is where Clarke found his calling.

A true student of the game, one who lives and breathes the core values of the game, he totally understands that it should be a fun as well as a competitive environment in addition to embracing modern methods.

His tactical nous and understanding of the nuances of the game are where he excels, with the ability to build a game plan around the resources at his disposal.

Clarke has shown he has the ability to get the very best out of the teams he has been involved in, tailoring his approach to the skills of the players and making it fun for all involved.

It is a return appointment by the board, as Clarke previously held the role a little more than 30 years ago.

Clarke will work closely with head coach Sam Naylor.

“It is a role I am looking forward to with great relish because my role is about bringing together our fantastic rugby family of players, volunteers in all areas, and our supporters,” said Clarke.

“It is about looking to create a pathway from U6 to our most senior team, enabling players of all ages, genders and ambitions to enjoy rugby.

“Finally it is about working with a fine bunch of people and hopefully attracting more of that family to become involved in any way they can, whether it be coaching, helping with the running or upkeep of the club or providing whatever services they can.”

Clarke will bring his boundless enthusiasm and passion for rugby to all levels of the club.

His coaching pedigree covers a range of levels and age groups.

Head coach Sam Naylor said: “I’m thrilled that Phil has agreed to be our Director of Rugby. He is a fantastic Coach and one of the very few figures within the game locally who can blend a traditional approach to rugby with embracing new methods of player development. I have personally been coached by Phil as a junior, and he was incredibly well respected by the squad. This appointment will enable NRUFC to harness his passion and knowledge across all areas of the playing community”.