“Teams are going to want to fire shots at us. We need to be ready for that - and be proud about it. It’s an exciting challenge.” That’s the message of new head coach Max Dominy for his players at Barnard Fields as Wymondham’s 1st XV prepare for a new rugby season.
Last year the men in Red and Black finished an encouraging - but frustrating - third. Ahead of local rivals Diss, Southwold and West Norfolk, but trailing Holt and winners Saffron Walden.
“We need to be ambitious,” says Max. “We’re here to get better - to build on the good work of last year and find those one percent gains that win games. This is a journey with a purpose.”
Max is a new arrival at Wymondham - a former coach with Northampton Saints Academy and Eastern Counties, he arrived in June to take charge of the senior men’s squad.
Jess Mclean-Wright heads the coaching team for the women’s side, Wymondham Wasps, while Tom Armes steps up to the Director of Rugby role, developing coaching across Wymondham’s 20 squads.
With a World Cup about to kick off, Tom sees it as a great moment to showcase what the sport - and the club - can offer. “It’s so important to clubs like Wymondham that we encourage and develop our own players,’ he says.
“We need to bring out the best in everyone here and that’s about great coaching at every level. We’ve got a brilliant talent pathway that’s taken players who started out as kids in Minis games on Sunday mornings all the way to professional contracts with Premiership clubs.”
It’s a theme echoed by Max. “Right now we’re working hard on making sure there’s real clarity about how we play and what we do. We want to play rugby that’s exciting to watch and make our supporters proud. What stood out right from the moment I arrived is the players really love playing here. It’s fun - and that’s infectious.”
The men’s season starts on 16th September with the 1st XV away at Wisbech and the 2nds home to Broadland.