Steve Talbot named First Grade CoachSOUTHERN Districts have appointed their former state representative back rower Steve Talbot to take over as first grade coach for the remainder of the season.
Re-Printed from The St George and Sutherland Shire Leader - by Brad Forrest
While the club announced this week that coach Darren Bray had opted to take up a new development role, the Leader understands club power-brokers — worried about the team’s slide down the 2011 Shute Shield rugby ladder — moved to replace him several weeks ago.
Several options were examined, including discussions with the ACT Brumbies coaching staff.
On Tuesday, Souths president Neville Shooter and his board announced a coaching restructure — that Bray had agreed to a new role of identifying, retaining, recruiting, welfare and development of young players in the area, and that a new coach would be appointed.
The red-headed Talbot had already agreed to take over as head coach, assisted by Max Currie, Talbot’s former coach at Forshaw Rugby Park, and forwards coach Cameron Blades and Matt Barr.
That night Talbot and the club’s major backer, Kevin Maloney, addressed the players before training, ahead of their home game this Saturday against West Harbour.
Currie said his former star pupil would leave players ‘‘in no doubts about what he expected’’.
‘‘Many judges consider Steve to be one of the best back rowers never to play for Australia,’’ Currie said. ‘‘He will do a good job. Steve was immensely loyal to this club and his state, at a time when he could have easily gone to Canberra to play under eventual Wallabies coach Rod Macqueen, at the Brumbies.’’
Talbot’s illustrious playing career included more than 200 Sydney first grade games and a regular member of the NSW Waratahs for six years, captaining the team in 2002.
He has experience coaching Colts and grade, including winning a reserve grade premiership with Easts, as well as the Waratah Under 19s, and he helped establish the Waratahs Academy.
Shooter said Bray, who got the first grade side to the finals last season, would now concentrate on identifying and retaining the best juniors, with an established pathway to Super Rugby level and beyond travelled recently by the likes of club champions Rob Horne, Dan Palmer and Kane Douglas.