A new coach ahead of a new look season for St Ives Rugby Club

Paul Humphreys is the new head coach at St Ives Rugby Club.

Paul Humphreys is the new head coach at St Ives Rugby Club. - Credit: ST IVES RUGBY

St Ives will head into the next rugby season with a new man at the helm - although he will be familiar to many at the Chicken Shack.

Paul Humphreys was a player at the Somersham Road club for many years but has now stepped the other side of the white line following the departure of Max Dominy.

And with a brave new world for grassroots rugby ready to go, he is champing at the bit to get going next month.

He said: "I am honoured to be named head coach at St Ives and I hope to carry on the good work from Max.

"I started here as a 16-year-old and stayed until I was 30, clocking up around 400 games.

"I cut my coaching teeth elsewhere but I have always said I have unfinished business with St Ives. Rugby gets in your blood, so when the chance to apply for the head coach role, I jumped at it.

"St Ives is a club that is welcoming and friendly, an inclusive community club, for both players and families alike. The youth coaches are doing a great job in nurturing the young talent and more recently, there have been sterling efforts put in by colleagues to form a ladies’ side.

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"This shows the ambition that is making St Ives the place to play rugby for everyone. This is something I hope we can build on and make St Ives the premier community rugby club."

St Ives will take their place in a new look division after the RFU undertook the biggest change to the league structure in 30 years

The new pyramid will see clubs in either national, regional or county leagues with the underlying plan to improve player retention, attract new players and cut down on travelling time.

A new cup competition will round-off the season.

Ives will play in Counties One Midlands East (South), with their first game on September 3 at home to Market Bosworth.

The return match on March 11 represents the end of the league season.

Huntingdon & District and St Neots are both in Counties Two Midlands East (South) and will get an early derby opportunity, the pair playing each other at Huntingdon's Racecourse Ground on September 10, the second week of the season.

The return comes on December 3.

2022-2023 fixtures

St Ives RFC - Counties One Midlands East (South)

Sep 3 - Market Bosworth (h)
Sep 10 - Northampton Casuals (a)
Sep 17 - Oakham (h)
Sep 24 - Wellingborough (h)
Oct 1 - Stamford (a)
Oct 15 - Stockwood Park (h)
Oct 22 - Vipers (a)
Oct 29 - Bourne (h)
Nov 5 - Bugbrooke (a)
Nov 12 - Dunstablians (h)
Nov 26 - Long Buckby (a)
Dec 3 - Northampton Casuals (h)
Dec 10 - Oakham (a)
Dec 17 - Wellingborough (a)
Jan 7 - Stamford (h)
Jan 14 - Stockwood Park (a)
Jan 21 - Vipers (h)
Jan 28 - Bourne (a)
Feb 11 - Bugbrooke (h)
Feb 18 - Dunstablians (a)
Mar 4 - Long Buckby (h)
Mar 11 - Market Bosworth (a)

Huntingdon & District RFC - Counties Two Midlands East (South)

Sep 3 - Spalding (a)
Sep 10 - St Neots (h)
Sep 17 - Biggleswade (a)
Sep 24 - Daventry (h)
Oct 1 - Stewarts & Lloyds (a)
Oct 15 - Luton (a)
Oct 22 - Melton Mowbray (h)
Oct 29 - Northampton BBOB (a)
Nov 5 - Northampton Mens Own (h)
Nov 12 - Queens (a)
Nov 26 - Rushden & Higham (h)
Dec 3 - St Neots (a)
Dec 10 - Biggleswade (h)
Dec 17 - Daventry (a)
Jan 7 - Stewarts & Lloyds (h)
Jan 14 - Luton (h)
Jan 21 - Melton Mowbray (a)
Jan 28 - Northampton BBOB (h)
Feb 11 - Northampton Mens Own (a)
Feb 18 - Queens (h)
Mar 4 - Rushden & Higham (a)
Mar 11 - Spalding (h)

St Neots RFC - Counties Two Midlands East (South)

Sep 3 - Daventry (h)
Sep 10 - Huntingdon & District (a)
Sep 17 - Luton (h)
Sep 24 - Melton Mowbray (a)
Oct 1 - Northampton BBOB (h)
Oct 15 - Northampton Mens Own (a)
Oct 22 - Queens (h)
Oct 29 - Rushden & Higham (a)
Nov 5 - Spalding (h)
Nov 12 - Stewarts & Lloyds (h)
Nov 26 - Biggleswade (a)
Dec 3 - Huntingdon & District (h)
Dec 10 - Luton (a)
Dec 17 - Melton Mowbray (h)
Jan 7 - Northampton BBOB (a)
Jan 14 - Northampton Mens Own (h)
Jan 21 - Queens (a)
Jan 28 - Rushden & Higham (h)
Feb 11 - Spalding (a)
Feb 18 - Stewarts & Lloyds (a)
Mar 4 - Biggleswade (h)
Mar 11 - Daventry (a)