Titans appoint Lee Blackett as Head Coach
Rotherham Rugby Club is delighted to announce that current player-coach Lee Blackett has been appointed Head Coach of Rotherham Titans.
Blackett, at 30 years-old becomes the youngest Head Coach in the RFU Championship and indeed in professional rugby in England.
Lee started out his career with the Clifton Lane based side; coming through the academy and making his Titans debut in January 2004 against Bath in the Zurich Premiership. Lee left South Yorkshire for a 6-year stint in the West of the county at Leeds Carnegie. There he competed for four years at the elite level and worked under some of the top coach’s in England, including current England Head Coach Stuart Lancaster, Mike Ford and Neil Back.
Blackett does not plan to play next term, barring an injury crisis at the club; meaning his appearance against London Scottish last week was his final match for the Titans. Blackett made 74 appearances for Rotherham, scoring 13 tries. His bustling, competitive style, combined with his ability to break the line and his aggressive defending made him an integral part of the playing set-up.
Titans Director of Rugby, Martin Jenkinson, commenting on Lee’s appointment explained, “We are delighted to have appointed Lee Blackett as the Head Coach of Rotherham Titans. We believe Lee is one of the brightest young coach’s around and are confident that he can take the club forward. Lee understands the culture here at Rotherham; he started his playing career here and now he’s starting his coaching career here too. We are looking forward to working with Lee as we continue our planning for the 2013-14 season.”
Blackett himself unsurprisingly added, “I’m massively delighted and honoured to have been appointed Rotherham Titans Head Coach; it’s something that I’ve wanted to do for several years.
“I’ve been Head Coach at Sheffield Hallam for the last 4 years and I have a team of talented coaches under me there. I love the sport and I love coaching and for me it’s a natural progression.
“I’ll be the youngest guy by several years to be a Head Coach in the Championship and I’m not naive to think I won’t have one heck of a task ahead and that there won’t be massive challenges; but I believe I can be successful here at Clifton Lane.
“I also think the age I am can be an advantage, because I feel you can get closer to the players. I’ve just come out of the game myself and I know what players require and what they want. I also believe I know the modern game as well as anyone else.
“I rejoined the club last year initially as a player and as such you get very tight with the group quickly. Then I moved into coaching duties with the defence side of our game. It may be a challenge to step away from the group and from friends now that I am the Head Coach, but it’s a challenge I have no doubts about meeting. I realise I will have to step back on that front and that’s what I’ll do. The club is the most important thing and that’s how it has to be.
“Our attacking style of play will continue next season; that’s how I see the game and we will endeavour to continue in that approach next year. I know the supporters have enjoyed our more expansive style and our aim for next year is not only to win games, but to entertain along the way.”