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Kodie Drury-Hawkins to return to Bury St Edmunds as player-coach after completing season in New South Wales at West Harbour



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Kodie Drury-Hawkins will be taking aim at promotion with Bury St Edmunds second time around after it was confirmed he will be returning from playing in his native Australia to fulfil a player-coach role.

The 30-year-old centre or fly-half was at the Greene King IPA Haberden during the 2019/20 campaign, but was denied the chance to complete a full season by the Covid pandemic. The Wolfpack were eventually confirmed as finishing a club-record sixth in National League 2 South, having targeted a first elevation to the third tier, after a points-per-game formula was implemented.

Drury-Hawkins is set to be back in Suffolk in the second week of August, ahead of the first of three pre-season fixtures, after completing his Shute Shield (second tier) campaign with West Harbour in New South Wales.

Kodie Drury-Hawkins will replace departed Cameron Greenhall, who is now head coach at Sudbury, at fly-half Picture: Mecha Morton
Kodie Drury-Hawkins will replace departed Cameron Greenhall, who is now head coach at Sudbury, at fly-half Picture: Mecha Morton

But as well as looking to achieve promotion as champions from the new regionalised National League 2 East division – with only one team set to go up – he is also returning to set himself up for life post-playing.

Bury’s head coach and director of rugby, Jacob Ford, said of his first confirmed signing: “We are really looking forward to having a player of his experience back and bringing that coaching element to it as well as he will be a player/backs coach.

“We have been speaking for a while, most of the course of last season, about him coming back and he is coming for opportunities over here to get into coaching.”

Kodie Drury-Hawkins on the run against Redruth during the 2019/20 season Picture: Mecha Morton
Kodie Drury-Hawkins on the run against Redruth during the 2019/20 season Picture: Mecha Morton

Drury-Hawkins is set to be available for the opening pre-season friendly, at National League 1 local rivals Cambridge on August 13 (2pm). It will be followed by home games with Darlington Morden Park on August 20 and Bedford Athletic a week later.

The first game of the new National League season sees The Wolfpack go to Henley Hawks on September 3 before Norfolk’s North Walsham travel down to The Haberden on September 10.

Meanwhile, Bury have announced just four players have departed from the squad which finished last season.

Former professional prop Camilo Parilli-Ocampo has retired and left his commercial manager role to launch a new career. Scrum-halves Chris Bolton and Fin Creighton have also departed along with fly-half Cameron Greenhall, who is now head coach at Sudbury.

Camilo Parilli O'Campo has left both his playing and position as commercial manager at Bury St Edmunds to pursue a career outside of rugby Picture: Mark Westley
Camilo Parilli O'Campo has left both his playing and position as commercial manager at Bury St Edmunds to pursue a career outside of rugby Picture: Mark Westley

It has also emerged Freddie Roddick, who will be representing England at the upcoming Commonwealth Games, left during the course of last season to go pro in the 7s game.