KENDAL Rugby Club have welcomed a new coach who they believe will 'take the team forward' over the next season.

Dan Cook is to take over from former coach Chris Downhams, who left the club to pursue a full-time career with United Utilities.

Dan has played at a high level, for Rotherham Titans, Hull and Doncaster Knights.


His management experience includes director of sport at Giggleswick School, head of rugby at Hill House School and director of rugby and rugby development officer at Hull RUFC.

Kendal's director of rugby Steve Whitehead said: "We were looking to continue to improve after Chris left and to continue our year on year progression.

"We were looking for somebody with a fresh perspective ideally, who could put forward new ideas about the players.

"We interviewed a number of people and Dan's experience and level of play in the premiership and championship, as well as his good understanding of the game set him apart.

"He has the experience playing, but can also convert that into coaching.

"I like his manner. He brings a great pedigree and he fits in with the team well. The boys played well last season but I think there is another 15 per cent we can get out of them.

"I'm excited to have Dan as part of the club."

Kendal have also bolstered the squad, with two new signings for next season.

Mike Fearon, who plays at the back, has joined the club from Penrith.

Next season will also see flanker Jack Morphet rejoin the team, after a season away for university.

Mr Whitehead said: "Mike is a player with a wealth of experience, and he brings a freshness and adds a new dynamic to the back line.

"Jack played for us before. He's a very good player who fits in well. He's very strong and good on the ball, as well as being good in defence.

"We have brought in a couple of quality players, and we are still recruiting. We are not going to go mad because there is a fine balance between recruitment and building players up. Over the years we have got that balance right.

"The squad is good, but you need strength in depth at this level. The games are getting faster and the hits are harder, and that takes its toll on players."