Tynedale assistant coach Tom Bramald will be the new head coach of Ponteland next season, assisted by Newcastle Falcons players Ally Hogg and Mike Blair.
Ponteland were this season relegated from Durham and Northumberland One, Bramald explaining: “I have been at Tynedale for six years, starting in a junior role as video analyst and moving up to assistant coach for the past four seasons.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed that time and they have been fantastic with me, but this just feels like the right point to do my own thing without the safety net of John Shotton and Tom Borthwick.”
Bramald added: “Ponteland are a very well-organised club off the field. They have great potential with young players who are quick and exciting, and I was attracted to the idea of doing some development work with them.
“By that I mean actually teaching them some rugby as opposed to National One level, where you are basically managing people who are already accomplished players.”
Delighted to have 133 Scotland caps assisting him, he added: “Ally and Mike are looking to complete their next coaching qualification, and it was obvious I couldn’t turn down that level of experience.
“Both are very highly-rated by the Falcons lads I know from Tynedale as coaches and mentors, and it is great to have them. As far as I am aware they will be quite actively involved in training and games, obviously when their Falcons commitments allow, and I am looking forward to working with them.”
Unperturbed by having to start from Durham and Northumberland Two, Bramald said: “The challenge is still attractive, and the club is very well set up to succeed.”
Meanwhile, the Durham Intermediate Cup final will be contested between Consett and Hartlepool Rovers at Durham City RFC on Wednesday May 14, Rovers beating Ryton 22-10 in the semi-finals and Consett receiving a bye due to Seaton Carew pulling out.