Chard RFC are delighted to announce the appointment of Ben Thomas as Head Coach for 2019/20.

Thomas, who is currently coaching with Bristol Bears Academy, is also head regional coach for Scotland Exiles and is employed as the 1st XV coach at King's College, Taunton.

Thomas has played at Taunton, represented Richard Huish College and played for Somerset.

He will also join the playing side and, with experience at fly-half, centre and full-back, will be a welcome addition to the squad.

Thomas said "I’m looking forward to starting my new role as head coach of Chard.

"It will be an exciting experience and a new challenge and I’m looking forward to getting back out there and playing rugby again.

"I am looking to bring energy and enthusiasm to the club by playing exciting rugby which players will enjoy and also the spectators.

"Hopefully we can get the club back to where it was in higher leagues.

"The club's ethos and culture is great and I can’t wait to start."

Chard chairman John Williams said: "We believe we have chosen the right person for head coach of Chard.

"Ben is passionate about rugby, innovative, focused, tactically astute, but most of all has a winning mentality.

"Next season all our efforts will be directed on creating a challenging coaching set up, engineered to improve player and team performance but also making it enjoyable.

"We cannot achieve this without your total commitment.

"We have so much young talent in this club it's time we moved on and show everyone out there just how good we really are!!

Director of rugby Luke Aplin has been involved in the selection process and was impressed with the calibre of coaches showing interest in the club.

Aplin said: "Ben has been selected from a very talented group of applicants.

"Behind the scenes, a huge amount of effort is being directed at the coaching structure with ambitions to make next season a success.

"It will be over to the players now to show their appreciation of the high quality coaching structure we're putting in place by commitment at training and their availability for games throughout the season.

"Hopefully now younger lads looking to progress their rugby will see us as an attractive club to learn and progress their rugby skills."

Thomas will start in his new role over the summer and has already started planning preseason to ensure Chard starts the new season in top gear.