Dungannon Rugby Club have announced the appointment of a new coaching team for the 2014/15 season, as they look to bounce back from their relegation from Ulster Bank League Division 1B.
Outgoing head coach Paddy Johns stays in the mix with former Dungannon player Nigel Brady returning as forwards coach. Brady, a former Ulster and Ireland 'A' hooker who is currently in France with Aurillac, has recently been forced to retire from playing through injury.
He was a prominent schoolboy rugby player at Royal School Dungannon having been capped a number of times for Ulster and Ireland Schools. He then graduated to the senior squad at Dungannon in 1998 and was a member of the All-Ireland League winning side of 2001.
Brady will be assisted by his former Ulster Schools colleague David Irwin who is joining from Lisburn RFC as assistant forwards and development coach.
Mark Henderson is also remaining on from the existing coaching team and he assumes the role of coaching co-ordinator, responsible for assisting with the coaches and other coaching duties along with the recruitment and development of young players.
Henderson has been involved with coaching and managing a number of sides at Stevenson Park and also led the Sevens squads to success at the Carrick Sevens on a number of occasions, including at this year's tournament.
Outgoing Dungannon club President Paul Magee is excited by the new appointments, stating: "I have played with both Nigel and David and know their rugby abilities. Nigel is no stranger to Dungannon and whilst we are all disappointed he has had to finish his playing career early, we are excited he has chosen his home club as the place to begin his coaching career.
"We have targeted our men and believe they will do a good job at Dungannon, developing players and returning the first team to the premier division of the Ulster Bank League.
"Dungannon has always been a development ground for young ambitious players and with these additions to our current coaching team, we will be well placed to continue that tradition and bring all levels of Dungannon rugby back to the standards we set for ourselves.
"Over this season we have used many players new to the AIL and along with potential new recruits, they will benefit greatly from the quality coaching and high level experience available to us next season."
Former Ulster and Ireland lock Johns, who is stepping down after two seasons as 'Gannon's head coach, added: "Nigel will be an enthusiastic young coach who will bring fresh ideas and a new momentum to the club. He continues the long tradition of former Dungannon players, who, like me, have proudly taken on the role of coach of their home club.
"He and David Irwin will have plenty of support from Mark and entire club. I believe coaching, like playing, is now a team effort where we depend on each other for support and ideas.
"We should be open to constructive criticism as well. It is better to get it wrong on the training ground than on the pitch on a Saturday."
Dungannon are continuing to seek the appointment of a backs coach to complete their coaching team, however with this announcement the Tyrone side can begin the important steps of building for next season.
Hailing Johns as 'a great servant to Dungannon for the last two years', the club thanked him for his continued support and commitment to the Stevenson Park outfit.
The IRFU have announced the fixtures for the forthcoming Ulster Bank League season and following on from the success of last year's 'Friday Night Lights' games, the evening kick-offs continue and Division 1A sees the return of semi-finals and a final for the 2014/15 campaign.
More than 400 boys and girls from 20 teams took part in the Aviva Mini Rugby Festival and enjoyed a chance to 'play where their heroes play'. We hear from the IRFU's Hendrik Kruger and former Ireland international David Wallace, as well as Aviva's Eoin O'Neill and some of the club coaches involved.
Old Belvedere moved to the top of Ulster Bank League Division 1A as full-back Josh Glynn booted them to a 21-15 victory over Dolphin. Their home win came a day after title rivals Clontarf lost to Lansdowne, setting up a fascinating final round next Saturday.
The top two teams in Division 1A of the Ulster Bank League - Clontarf and Old Belvedere - played out a high quality 'Friday Night Lights' encounter in front of a large Castle Avenue crowd. Irish Rugby TV brings you the best of the action.
Tries from man-of-the-match Daniel Riordan, captain Gerry Hurley and replacement Declan Lavery inspired the Ireland Club team to a 28-3 victory over their Scottish counterparts in the Ulster Bank Club International match. Check out this recap of the annual Dalriada Cup clash.
Number 8 Sean Wall captained Enniscorthy to Ulster Bank All-Ireland Junior Cup glory on Saturday as they got the better of Clogher Valley on a 10-9 scoreline. He was interviewed by Knockon.ie's Rob Murphy afterwards.
Scrum half Evan Lett scored the only try of the game as Enniscorthy won the Ulster Bank All-Ireland Junior Cup title for the first time, beating Clogher Valley 10-9 in a tight decider. He spoke to Knockon.ie's Rob Murphy afterwards.
Clogher Valley's joint head coach David Black reflected on his side's 10-9 Ulster Bank All-Ireland Junior Cup final loss to Enniscorthy. Despite the disappointment, he said it was 'a big achievement for such a small club' to reach the decider.
Out-half David Joyce wrapped up Clontarf's latest win in the Ulster Bank League, scoring the closing try and 16 points in total as they beat Young Munster 26-9 at Tom Clifford Park. Check out highlights of Saturday's game on Irish Rugby TV.
UCD qualified for the Ulster Bank Bateman All-Ireland Cup final with a hard-earned 21-20 semi-final win over Galwegians. The Irish Rugby TV cameras were at Belfield on Saturday to catch the best of the action.
Defending champions Lansdowne entered the Christmas break as the third-placed team in Ulster Bank League Division 1A following a nine-try 61-11 thrashing of Dolphin on the Aviva Stadium's back pitch. Check out the highlights on Irish Rugby TV.
The IRFU have launched a new concussion guide which outlines four simple, important messages: Stop - Inform - Rest - Return. Irish Rugby TV spoke to IRFU Head of Medical Services, Dr. Rod McLoughlin, IRUPA Operations Manager Simon Keogh and IRFU international referee John Lacey about the guide - further information is available at http://www.irishrugby.ie/news/30281.php.
Out-half Craig Ronaldson, who has made a successful transition from Ulster Bank League rugby with Lansdowne to a professional contract with Connacht, talks about the step up to this level of rugby, the importance of the league in providing game-time and a shop window for players and he also previews the province's back-to-back clashes with Toulouse.
The Irish Rugby TV cameras recorded today's much-anticipated 'Your Club, Your Country' Grand Prize Draw, with the 2013 winners drawn by IRFU President Pat Fitzgerald. Lionel Mahon from Ulster Bank and independent auditor Aidan Connaughton from Grant Thornton were also present for the draw which was hosted by the IRFU's Barry Cunningham.
Watch highlights of Ballynahinch's clash with Garryowen in Ulster Bank League Division 1A, as tries from Ross Adair and Aaron Ferris guided Hinch to their first win of the campaign at Ballymacarn Park.