Plance & Cashman commit to Bath Rugby League Club

Bath Rugby League Club are pleased to announce Tom Plance has reaffirmed his commitment by agreeing to be Club Captain for the 2017 season.

While he is young, he is experienced and mature for his age, 21, a regular with the successful University of Bath Broncos Rugby League side this year who are pushing for promotion from their division to National South League. He has also played for Scotland Students Rugby League, South West Universities, Devon County and South Wales Scorpions (now Ironmen) Rugby League development side. Tom has recently been playing half-back but equally at home in the hooking position, a hooker-cum-half-back.

Tom commented on his appointment:

“It is an honour to be named Club Captain of a new club with a professional environment. Hopefully, with what I have personally achieved over a short period of time since coming to Rugby League, can show my team mates that there are lot of opportunities if you give 100%”

Liam Cashman (left) and Tom Plance (right), pictured in their Welsh and Scottish strips respectively in 2016 when the Four Nations was held in Scotland

Tom’s good friend Liam Cashman has also agreed to join the club. Liam plays prop and plays for the successful University of Bath Broncos Rugby League side. Liam has also played for Welsh Students Rugby League, South West Universities and South Wales Scorpions (now Ironmen) development side. He went over for a barnstorming try in Bath Broncos narrow final defeat against Nottingham a couple of weeks ago on finals day.

A club spokesperson said:

“It is excellent that Tom has committed to this key position with the club and I am sure both lads will be great additions to the group of people we have at Bath Rugby League. We are really please with the group that has been in training for over a month who are all excellent people”.

Andy Burns has been appointed as Match day Manager, he will oversee and look after all off the field arrangements to ensure match days run smoothly, he was born in Doncaster and has been a life long fan of the Greatest Game (TGG) Rugby League, initially as a supporter of Doncaster Rugby League Club.

Andy moved down to South Wales for work and got involved with a new start up Rugby League Club at the time in Bridgend called Celtic Crusaders. Andy took up the role of Supporters Club Chairman in 2006 and set up the Junior Cru (the Junior Supporters Club) in 2007. Andy stayed in the role until the club folded in 2010.

Matchday Manager Andy Burns pictured in his Bath Rugby League Polo Shirt

The club had some success rising through the lower echelons of the professional sport into Super League before owner Leighton Samuel pulled the plug, but luckily now Wales have two fledgling semi-professional outfits plying their trade in Championship One (South Wales Ironmen formerly Scorpions & North Wales Crusaders) and to some extent were effectively born out of the demise of Celtic Crusaders. There is now a relatively strong youth set up in Wales which was started in the days when Celtic Crusaders were established, feeding into both a strong community game and the semi-professional clubs.

A club spokesperson said:

“Andy played a prominent role in increasing the fan base of the Celtic Crusaders at the time, introducing Juniors to our great game and helped promote the game across a wider area in South Wales. Andy is really enthusiastic about getting back involved with the sport at Bath Rugby League.”

The latest off the field appointment is Clare Avenell as Lead Sports Therapist. Clare graduated as a Sports Therapist 5 years ago, over this period she has worked with University of Gloucestershire All Golds Rugby League Academy, Dorset & Wiltshire County RFU teams, GB Women’s Masters Ultimate Team, England Institute of Sport, England Australian Rules, Chippenham RFC (Bath Rugby League’s host venue) and Corsham RFC.

Clare has also been working with the Bath Rugby Academy for the past 3 years, running injury clinics and doing pitch side for all the junior academy teams.

Newly appointed Lead Sports Therapist Claire Avenell

A club spokesperson commented, “It is great to have someone of Clare’s experience on board to ensure players are looked after on match days. She also has experience of being in a professional Rugby League environment with University of Gloucestershire All Gold’s as well as the experience she will be able to bring from working with Bath Rugby and other high intensity sports. An excellent addition to the club and the environment we are creating.”

The club’s next training session is at Chippenham RFC on Wednesday 26th April 2017, 7pm kick off and a facilitated training session/trial event will be held on the following Wednesday 3rd May 2017, 7pm also at Chippenham RFC to shape what the starting squad might be for the first competitive fixtures. The squad has been in pre-season training for over a month now with lots of good people at the club.

A club spokesperson said:

“We are really impressed with the group of people we have in training with the club and the appointments which have been made off the field. However, now the winter sports season is coming to a close we would like to welcome new and returning players to Rugby League as we are only a couple of weeks away from competitive fixtures, we welcome players and prospective players aged 16+ of all abilities to give it a try”.

The clubs first competitive event will be the West of England 9’s at Swindon St. George on Saturday 6th May, followed by the club’s first competitive league fixture when they will play local rivals Bristol Sonics at their Chippenham RFC home on Saturday 13th May Kick off 2.30pm.

You can contact the club via the following:

Tel: 07810 552196



Twitter: @BathRugbyLeague


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