WHARFEDALE RUFC have announced the appointment of Simon Verbickas as its new Director of Rugby.

The new arrival has a wealth of experience in the community and professional games, having been involved at club, county and international levels, both as a coach and player.

A former RFU Community Coach and player coach with various clubs in the Northwest, and as a former coach of Caldy and Chester, Verbickas was responsible for the progress and development of these clubs from regional to National Rugby League level status.

He is currently a Sale Sharks Women’s Premiership Performance Coach and a Sedbergh School Sports Development Officer, responsible for child and coach development in sports clubs and Prep Schools across the UK and abroad.

Speaking about his new appointment as Director of Rugby at Wharfedale RUFC, Verbickas said: “I’m excited for the opportunity to work with Wharfdale Rugby Club. Wharfdale is a club with a rich rugby heritage and strong community links, which is something I hope to develop and further strengthen in the coming seasons.

“I was fortunate enough to be able to watch the final home game of the season, against Rotherham, and what a game to be at.

“It highlighted the club’s potential, not just on the field but off the field too. The whole day was a spectacular event with some tremendous rugby for the large crowd to enjoy.

“Both Jon Feeley and Jon Skurr have done an amazing job with the squad and I feel incredibly fortunate to be inheriting a squad that is in such a positive position from them both.

“ One of the big attractions to the role, besides the amazing beauty of the area, is the club has a vision and a clear plan on how they want to move forward and get back to playing National League One level rugby.

“It is a vision that I understand and really want to be a part of.

“I am under no illusion, it will be a lot of hard work and not possible without commitment and teamwork from myself and all involved.

“These are exciting times for both Wharfdale Rugby Club and myself, and I cannot wait to get started.”

As a former player, Verbickas’ rugby playing career involved a host of clubs, including Broughton Park, Manchester, West Park St. Helens, Orrell, Sale Sharks, Chester; representative honours with Cheshire, England U21, North of England and Lithuania; and a spell in rugby league with Widnes Vikings.

David Baker, Wharfedale Chairman, said: “We were privileged to have had a number of excellent applicants to the Director of Rugby role, and being able to secure a coach of Simon’s calibre is very exciting for our players, coaches and supporters.

“We look forward to him joining and developing rugby across all aspect of the Club, and to assist the players and the coaches, and Wharfedale RUFC, to achieve their potential in the game.”

So, with the recent announcement, an exciting future awaits Dale.

In other news,  Wharfedale RUFC have announced the signing of backrow player, Matti Williams for next season. A South African by birth, the powerful, explosive running 30 year old, joins from Rotherham Titans.

He is a former Premiership & Challenge Cup winner with Northampton Saints, and has also played for Worcester Warriors, Jersey Reds and Birmingham Moseley. Matti’s experience gained at Premiership and Championship levels will be a vital addition to the talented, young Wharfedale squad he joins.

“I’m honoured to be joining Wharfedale with such a strong tradition of promoting rugby in the community. I’m looking forward to help building and playing in a team that competes at the top level of the league we are currently in” said Williams on signing for his new club.