CHARD Rugby Club have appointed a new head coach.

Steve Pape, who played as a second-row for a host of Championship and National 1 clubs, will lead the club into the 2024/25 season.

Pape represented a host of clubs including Bristol, Gloucester, Rosslyn Park and London Scottish during his playing career.

The Taunton man also represented England and youth and students level and was capped by his home county, Somerset.

He was previously the forwards coach at Wellington Rugby Club for the 2015/16 season to take on a role at North Petherton.

Pape's appointment comes after Trae Gosling stepped down in April after two years at the helm to “focus on family matters”.

After his appointment, Pape said: “I am delighted and excited to have been given the head coach role for the 2024-25 season with Chard Rugby Club.

“I'm looking forward to putting the players young and old through their paces and hopefully improving their rugby understanding and ability.

“I would like to personally thank the executive committee for the opportunity, and I look forward to meeting the supporters at our first game.

“Thanks again, and I look forward to meeting players new and existing at our players' rugby BBQ before pre-season starts.”

Chard & Ilminster News: Chard RFC will host its end-of-season Dinner and Dance event this Friday.Chard RFC will host its end-of-season Dinner and Dance event this Friday. (Image: Hannah Aplin)

Chairman Billy Ellens said: “We are delighted to have secured the services of Steve Pape as our head coach for next season.

“From our first meeting with Steve we could tell he was the right coach for Chard Rugby Club.

“Steve comes with a pedigree of experience playing and coaching.

“He also has a background of working with younger players and bringing them through so for us it's was an easy choice.

“We look forward to welcoming Steve and his family to the club.”

Chard RFC will host their end of season Dinner and Dance on Friday (May 10).