Navy Man Sets Sail For England

Navy Rugby's Mr Administrator, Warrant Officer Martyn 'Sid' Cole has received National recognition with an appointment as Assistant Team Manager to the England Counties XV. Sid has served Navy Rugby at all levels and has been Team Manager for the Seniors, Youth and Veterans. Commenting on the appointment Navy Director of Rugby Geraint Ashton Jones said: "I am sure Sid will provide the Counties XV with the level of Service that we have been come accustomed to in Navy Rugby. We are fortunate that we are always able to call on Team Managers of the highest quality and Sid has been no exception. He has been a great help in my first season in the role of DoR and though somewhat of a cliche the Navy's loss will be England Counties gain. All of us within Navy Rugby wish Sid the very best in his new role." The full press release issued by the Rugby Football Union is as follows: England RU Counties XV announce management changes The England Counties XV, the representative flagship of the Rugby Football Union’s community game outside the Guinness Premiership, will have a new management team for their two-week, three-match tour to America and Canada from June 2/16, 2008. The role of Team Manager, vacated by Jim Robinson of Warwickshire after three seasons in post, goes to Danny Hodgson, who has been Assistant Manager since the Counties XV was first conceived and went on the inaugural tour to Chile in 2002. The change to the Assistant Manager duties introduces a new figure to the Counties XV administration in the shape of Martyn Cole, who has previous team management experience with various teams in the Royal Navy, including the service’s senior side. “We had a number of high-quality applications for the Manager’s role and went through a thorough selection process. I am sure we have the right people in place to take us forward,” says Rob Udwin, Chairman of the England Counties Steering Group: “The appointments ensure continuity from the previous regime, while bringing new talent to the management team. “Danny Hodgson has become a seasoned, highly-experienced No 2 during overseas trips to South America, Canada, Europe and Russia and brings a wealth of knowledge to the Manager’s job. “At this stage, Martyn does not have experience of the Counties XV, but he is an outstanding team administrator with a fine record and a strong understanding of the game. I'm confident that he will be a very successful member of our team, both in the short and longer term. He will certainly benefit initially from having someone of Danny’s experience and commitment to work with and learn from.” Northumbrian Hodgson was predictably delighted at his appointment. “I’ve never been involved in the professional game and the Counties XV is the pinnacle of everything I really believe in, so it’s a huge honour for me.” he says: “I’m thrilled to bits. Being involved with the Counties XV has always been tremendously enjoyable and exciting as we put together a new squad and confront a fresh challenge. “June will be with us before we know it and we have a lot of work to do in terms of putting a scouting team in place and liaising with the counties and the clubs. This will be my priority.” Hodgson’s No 2 is 46, has spent 29 years in the Service and is well qualified for the Counties role given that his day job as Warrant Officer One at Devonport Dockyard is as part of an operations and leadership development team. “I’m more than delighted to be given an opportunity with an England representative side and I think I can learn a huge amount from someone like Danny,” says ‘Sid’ Cole, as he is popularly known: “I can think of nothing better than to be working with someone of his experience. “I’ve been managing Royal Navy rugby sides for the last seven or eight years and taken them on tours throughout the UK and Mainland Europe, as well as managing the senior side on a winning Commonwealth Cup tour to South Africa in 2006. “In that job and in my services role, I am familiar with dealing with player welfare issues on tour and the organisational challenge posed by groups of people coming together at short notice and being welded into a team.” Cole’s involvement in County rugby has not extended beyond the touchline, but having grown up in Gloucestershire and watched both Cornwall and Devon, he is well aware of the passions the County game still generates and the pride which comes from being involved in the Counties XV. The Counties XV will also have a new physiotherapist. Rachel Galley, who has been involved in treating rugby players for 12 years with Yorkshire and Wharfedale, takes over from Esher’s Carole McAthey, who has also given loyal service to the team for six years. “As we look forward with excitement and optimism to a new international challenge, I would like sincerely to thank Jim and Carole for their outstanding work with the Counties XV, which has been professional and unstinting,” says Rob Udwin. “I know the players have a deep appreciation of the huge contribution they have made and this is shared by us all.” Issued by Tony Simpson, England Counties XV Press Officer (07764 336708) ends