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Rock determined to get Bangor on a roll after being appointed boss

 

Tom Rock
Tom Rock

By Michael Sadlier

Bangor have appointed Tom Rock as their new Director of Rugby as the Division 2C side seek to move forward from a disappointing All-Ireland League campaign.

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Rock, who spent two years as assistant coach at Ballynahinch and helped them to this season's Division 1B title and promotion to 1A, takes over from Danny Curran who now steps aside after three years in the role.

Rock brings a decent coaching and playing pedigree to Bangor, who are seeking to build for the future and improve on their league finishes in 2C since winning promotion back to senior rugby in 2016.

The Yorkshire native was previously Director of Rugby at the Blaydon club from Tyne and Wear and also held a similar role at Leeds-based Otley.

Rock (above) also played professionally for Leeds Tykes and London Welsh, operating primarily at full-back as well as centre.

After moving to Northern Ireland two years ago - his wife hails from Bangor - Rock hooked up with 'Hinch, where he also played in his initial season assisting Brian McLaughlin.

"I'm excited about the challenge at Bangor," said the Groomsport-based 34-year-old.

"The potential of this club, and not just the first team but beyond that with its strong youth structure, is something I can hopefully contribute to growing in the long term.

"It was a difficult decision to leave 'Hinch after just winning promotion, but ultimately it was the right decision for me."

With what is believed to be an initial two-year deal, Rock is determined to improve Bangor's fortunes after their eighth-place finish and last-day escape from relegation.

"It's vital we get the first team right but it's also vital that we build on the great stuff that the club are doing with the youth structure. So it's about putting this club on the strongest possible footing across the board and I see my remit being a wide one and adding value to the club wherever I can," he said.

It is hoped that Lewis Stevenson, as well as Stuart McCloskey and Craig Gilroy, may remain involved at Upritchard Park next season as Rock seeks to build for the future.

Curran, who is expected to take up another role at the club, said: "Tom brings an excellent level of experience on the coaching front and will help drive Bangor to the next level."

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