Hogg’s high hopes for coach Heald to mastermind push for promotion

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Gavin Hogg believes new head coach Jack Heald’s promotion know-how will prove key in taking Bury Rugby Club on to the next level.

Heald masterminded London Irish Amateurs’ — now known as London Irish Wild Geese — rise to National League Two South as champions of National Three South-West the season before last as head coach.

And despite their relegation back to Bury’s level in 2013/14, Bury’s director of rugby Hogg — who was effectively combining both roles last season — thinks his experience is exactly what they need to fufill their ambitions of a higher level.

“Having that know-how of what it takes to take a team from National Three to National Two was a big benefit from our point-of-view,” he said. “We found ourselves in a lot of winnable positions last year and we did not close out games and Jack will bring that bit of experience to keep people focused.”

Heald, a level three coach who previously worked at Premiership side London Irish’s academy, has recently relocated to the area and will share the responsibility of picking the team with Hogg and playing chairman Terry Sands, while filling the role of a backs coach after specialist Chris Roome left to work abroad.

Hogg added: “There are a few things he has already identified to improve our gameplan and he has a lot of insight into what goes on at an elite level.”

Heald was involved in finalising pre-season plans at the club this week, ahead of the July 1 return, but will take up the part-time role officially then.

Meanwhile, New Zealand scrum-half Casey Stone’s future is set to be cleared up within the next 10 days with the club keen to keep hold of him.