IT'S all change at Rotherham Titans as the club steps up preparations for next season.
Head coach Joe Barker will leave the club this summer to pursue a playing and coaching opportunity in Hong Kong.
His replacement will be Yorkshire U20s coach Anthony Posa, who will become joint head coach alongside forwards coach Matt Smith.
Assistant coach Christian Head is also moving on after being offered an assistant director of rugby role at the school in which he works
The announcement comes in a week in which the Titans announced 16 new signings, including a return to the club for prop forward Toby Williams.
And in the experienced Posa (48), Rotherham believe they have a man who can help take the club forward in their second year in National One.
Originating from New Zealand and with a Croatian heritage, he joins from Bradford and Bingley and has been head coach of Yorkshire U20s for the past 12 years, winning the national county title eight times. He also coaches the Croatian national team and their 7s team and is head coach at the University of Sheffield.
He said: “I am extremely excited to be joining Rotherham and to start work with the excellent squad assembled.
“There are a lot of lads here who I have coached in the past who I'm keen to continue working with, but I'm even more keen to meet the other talent in the squad and start getting some 'hard yards' under our belts."
Joe Barker...making a fresh start in Hong Kong.
Barker, still in his 20s, helped guide the Titans to sixth place in a player/coach role last term but the opportunity to move abroad was too good to miss.
He said: “After four great seasons, it is with heavy heart that I am leaving a club which I have come to love.
"I am looking forward to gaining experience in an international environment, taking what I have learned during my time at the Titans adapting it to fit a new and innovative playing environment in Hong Kong.
“I would like to thank the Titans for the opportunity and wish the club well in the future.
Barker and Head leave with the club’s best wishes.
Director of rugby Martin Jenkinson said: “We want to thank Joe and Christian for their contribution.
“Last season was a tremendous achievement in stabilising the club after the traumatic events of the previous year.
“We are sure that with the abilities that they both have they will be successful wherever their careers take them.
Check out this week’s Advertiser for the full low-down on the new men.
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