Lawrance back as Crocs coach

HxRU 4 12 AB Pic for sport Note Nick O'Connor was in B/ham Pic1 Adam Blades. Pic2 and 3 Russ Lawrance -fham1-3ab-
HxRU 4 12 AB Pic for sport Note Nick O'Connor was in B/ham Pic1 Adam Blades. Pic2 and 3 Russ Lawrance -fham1-3ab-

Old Crossleyans’ search for a new coach has been cut short by Russ Lawrance’s impending return to the north.

He will have a second spell in charge of the Broomfield club, who parted company with Neil Spence recently following the first team’s relegation to Yorkshire One.

Crocs’ director or rugby Howard Cooper said Lawrance, a teacher, had left the club to take up a new post in Cornwall seven or eight years ago.

“He is moving back to Yorkshire and has a good track record with us,” he said.

“His previous spell with us was when we were struggling in Yorkshire One. Russ turned it round and got us promoted to North East One.”

Cooper said Lawrance would be head coach, working alongside himself and some of the other senior players.

“Our aim is to bring a varied and structured itinerary to the training sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays to enable us to be ready for the challenges that lie ahead.”

Cooper said Spence had been very committed to the club but results had been disappointing in the last season.

They had parted company with Spence before becoming aware of Lawrance’s availability.

“It has fallen nicely for us,” he added.

Crocs are holding a players’ pre-season meeting at the club on Tuesday (7.30) and training will commence on Tuesday, July 14.

Lawrance arrives back in this area next month and may miss the first couple of sessions.

Fullback Ben Greaves, who had an excellent second half to the season, is returning to Bradford and Bingley as backs coach.

Winger Adam Sutcliffe is going with him to the Bees, who were also relegated from North One East.

Cooper is hopeful replacements are in the pipeline.

“We are working very hard to increase the number of players for both the first XV and second XV next season, and hope to be able to announce new signings shortly,” he said.

Crocs have dropped into the same division as Old Brodleians and Heath, who recently announced the return of Dave Harrison to the club as their coach.

That means plenty of derby dates with Bradford and Bingley and promoted Bradford Salem also in the section.

Local rugby union fans won’t have to wait long for the first all-Calderdale battle - Crocs head to Woodhead to face the Brods on the opening day of the season, Saturday, September 5.

Heath go to Yarnbury in their first match and entertain Crocs on October 10.

Other key dates: November 21, Old Brodleians v Heath; January 30, Old Crossleyans v Heath; April 2, Heath v Old Brodleians; April 23, Old Crossleyans v Old Brodleians.