Rugby Union: Top coach Gittens brought in to help give Leek boost
INFLUENTIAL coach Ian Gittens has made a return to help oversee first-team matters at Leek.
Gittens, who boasts a playing CV which includes stints at London Welsh, Sale and Blackheath, played a key role when Leek won promotion to Midlands Two three seasons ago.
Now he will work alongside the likes of director of rugby Neil Edge as competition grows for selection in the Moorlanders' ever-growing playing ranks.
Second and third teams are now burgeoning at F Ball Park, with plans to launch a fourth team also under consideration.
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Edge said: "Ian brings a lot to the pitch on a Saturday and on the training field. He's a huge part of Leek Rugby Club and will make a big difference.
"We have lost a few players and brought a few into the first team since the end of last season, but we have developed further down the club too.
"The second team is getting stronger, the thirds are going really well and there are enough numbers to get another team off the ground.
"It's good for the club and fantastic for competition. I like that and I think the players do as well. You should have to fight for your shirt."
Leek have their first home game of the season when they host Bridgnorth this weekend.
Loose-head prop Dave Ackerley (hip) and scrum-half Jake Green (neck) are missing, but new boys winger Tom Jones and hooker Eddie Cheadle should feature.
STAFFORD, who beat Dunlop in the first round of the Intermediate Cup last weekend, are back in league action to host point-less Veseyans.
IN Midlands Three West (North), promotion-chasing NEWCASTLE will be looking to hold on to top spot when they make the trip to second-placed Edwardians.
ECCLESHALL, fresh from routing King's Norton 61-5, are at Wednesbury.
IN Midlands Four West (North), UTTOXETER have a chance to extend their 100 per cent start to the season when they take on Telford Hornets at Oldfields.