PETERSFIELD Rugby Club’s senior squad has a new-look coaching team as the club prepares for a return to the London league, following last season’s promotion.

Darren Kingham-Scott, former head coach at Winchester, comes in as assistant to head coach James Alder.

Steve Woolcombe, former 2nd XV coach at Chichester, will run the second team, in addition to his general coaching duties.

The newcomers join current backs and forwards’ coaches, Charles Hoff and Andy Patience, and new strength and conditioning guru, Mathew Murray.

James Alder said: “These new guys coming on board, added to the ever-improving facilities at the club, will help improve our ability to provide first-class coaching and fitness through all layers of the senior section, from the vets through to the first team.

“We are looking to build on last season’s efforts and deliver more success for Petersfield in the London and Hampshire leagues.”

Petersfield’s pre-season programme, starting with four weeks of training, kicks off on Tuesday, July 18 (7.30-9pm). Two warm-up games will be played at Penns Place. ’Field will host Alresford on Saturday, August 19 and there will be 1st and 2nd XV games against Bognor on Saturday, August 26.

Mathew ‘Ruby’ Murray, Petersfield’s new strength and conditioning coach, served 22 years in the Royal Navy as a physical training instructor. He has a wealth of experience and knows how to get the best out of those in his charge.

As custodian of the extended, refurbished and re-equipped gym at Penns Place, he will be focusing on the key areas of strength and conditioning and diet and nutrition to enable players to get the most out of themselves on and off the pitch.

With a degree in sports rehabilitation, Murray will also be able to prescribe exercise therapy for injured players, speeding up recovery times, and, most important of all, helping to prevent conditions from exacerbating.

Petersfield chairman Stuart Barden said: “We are delighted that Ruby has agreed to join us in this venture. The professional approach to health and fitness will complement our new gym and provide a unique resource in the area for the benefit of players, club members and the local community.”