STOURBRIDGE Lions have been given a pre-season coaching boost.

A new coaching team will take charge when training begins on Tuesday, July 1 ahead of a new season.

Jon Tibbetts is the new head coach and will be supported by player-coach Sam Robinson.

Tibbetts had been Stourbridge's forward coach for the past two season and takes over from Ian Strangward who stepped down at the end of last season after six successful years in charge.

Tibbetts, a former prop who played for the Lions when the team was formed, said: “I am extremely happy to be given the opportunity to help the club move forward and it is a challenge that I am very much look forward to."

When asked if anything would be different, Tibbetts added: “I have some ideas that I want to apply, but my two main aims are to improve the boys, make them better rugby players and utilise the asset that we have with the Saxons getting more involved with them and have them help us.”

It is a view that is supported and backed by director of rugby Neil Mitchell.

That connection is now stronger than ever following the signing of Sam Robinson, Stour's starting number 10 for the past 10 years.

Due to work commitments, Robinson has decided he would like to help the amateur side of the club develop through coaching but is also keen not to hang his boots up yet.

He said " I am excited to be working with the players who have a lot of potential, but just need a bit more guidance in a few areas and hopefully I can aid with this and can't wait to see what as a team we have to offer.

"I haven't really seen any of the boys play so it will provide a nice blank slate for everyone, everything is to train for during pre-season. Hopefully I am going to bring a bit of freshness and variety, simply as a new face with some different views of how to play the game."

The Lions pre-season is open for all players of all availability and new faces are always welcome. Anyone interested should contact captain Stuart Doolittle on 07730 203403 or go to the club's website for more details.