Harvey Biljon to show roads to progress for Rotherham Rugby Club
Harvey Biljon joined Rotherham Titans two weeks ago in a short-term consultancy role at the same time as a new head coach, Gareth Lewis, took the reins.
South African Biljon brings plenty of experience from his playing and coaching days, which included time at Cornish Pirates and then nine years at Jersey Reds that culminated in them winning the Championship last season.
Biljon, who was their director of rugby, knows what success looks like and ways to achieve it and that knowledge is something the Titans, in the fourth tier of domestic rugby, want to tap into.
The sad demise of the Reds in September made the former Wasps scrum-half available.
“There was the devastation of everything that has happened with Jersey Reds and that is not a discussion or a debate for now,” said Biljon.
“I remember Rotherham being in the Premiership and the Championship and over the last period of time if we’re honest the club has lost its way a little bit.
“Nick Cragg (Titans chairman) and Martin Jenkinson (Titans director of rugby) reached out and asked me to come on a consultancy point of view and to look to support and stimulate some of the on-field and off-field matters.
“It will give me the opportunity to put together a strategy over the coming weeks. We need to stimulate some of what has been going on on the field and support the current players and staff. Gareth Lewis coming into the club is exciting. Hopefully I can pass on some of my experience to him and the players alike.”
Biljon stresses that plans can’t be drawn up straight away. He needs time to look at on and off-field matters at Clifton Lane in greater detail before formulating a plan.
He explained: “If we can put a strategy together where everyone understands ‘this is how we achieve our goals and aims’, for me to roll out what that is right now is pretty tough. The immediate aim is to continue the way the team is performing. Will that give an opportunity for promotion to National One? We don’t know yet. Although clearly that is something people are going to start eyeing up, it is a lot tougher to do it than it is just to talk about it. We need to know how we are going to do it. We then understand what it takes to make that step up, whether that is this season or next season or the following season.
“It’s about what is required in all areas of the rugby club. On field with players and recruitment. Off field with what a back-room players’ support team and staff looks like.”
Biljon will continue to be based in the Channel Islands and split his time between there and South Yorkshire.
He’s already taken in one Titans game – at Sheffield – and some training sessions.
He added: “At this stage I will look to divide my time between both, so let’s see how it unfolds over the coming weeks. I’m coming in to put a strategy and a plan in place that allows the club to decide what direction it wants to take, whether National Two is where it wants to be, National One or the Championship. It has got to be a plan that if things move and change then you can adapt and build with it.”
Titans return from a three-week break to play Otley at home on Saturday.