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New Thetford Rugby Club head coach Aaron Beaumont will be one of the youngest in senior rugby in the country – but comes in with big ambitions to challenge the Norfolk hierarchy




Thetford’s new young head coach Aaron Beaumont has promotion firmly in his sights as he looks to establish the club as a force in Norfolk rugby.

Recent years have seen the Mundford Road club, who have been left treading water at Level 8 in London 3 Eastern Counties, fall down the pecking order from their traditional fellow county rivals.

The likes of Diss (Level 7), North Walsham (Level 5), Norwich (Level 6), West Norfolk and Wymondham ( both Level 7) will all start the 2020/21 campaign at higher levels.

New Thetford Rugby Club head coach Aaron Beaumont (36695774)
New Thetford Rugby Club head coach Aaron Beaumont (36695774)

But Beaumont is set to pick up the reins from Jono Farmer, who has left to join Bury St Edmunds’ coaching set-up, determined to bring some of those Norfolk derbies back to Mundford Road.

“What attracted me to Thetford was the direction and ambition the club has,” said the player who used to play hooker for North Walsham.

“They have purchased their ground and are looking to push on now.

Ryan Gardiner has left Thetford to join higher-league Diss PICTURE: Mecha Morton
Ryan Gardiner has left Thetford to join higher-league Diss PICTURE: Mecha Morton

“When I talked to Gary (Lee, team manager) and Aaron (Stokoe, club captain) on the committee over Zoom they chatted about the direction the club want to head in and it matched my ambition, so we were a pretty good fit for each other.”

At just 26, having turned to coaching following surgery on a knee injury, Beaumont is set to be one of the youngest head coaches at a senior club in the country.

But he will not be among the least qualified having obtained his RFU Level 2 qualification and already planning, with the club’s help, to work towards his Level 3, to put him in a select group in the local area.

He also arrives having had experience leading North Walsham’s second team in the league below Thetford, as well as coaching in a Cambridgeshire private school alongside the Northampton Saints’ Development Player Pathway (pre-academy) at under-15 level.

RUGBY - Thetford v Wisbech..Pictured: Matt Bailey...PICTURE: Mecha Morton .... (36867908)
RUGBY - Thetford v Wisbech..Pictured: Matt Bailey...PICTURE: Mecha Morton .... (36867908)

And with only a late applied 25-point deduction – for mistakenly not registering two players properly – seeing them drop from fourth to second-from-bottom in their coronavirus-curtailed 2019/20 campaign, Beaumont is confident Thetford can immediately challenge at the top end of the table.

“I know a few of the boys from playing with Norfolk, so I know the quality they have there,” he said.

“With the right leadership and guidance I think we can really push for promotion this year and get to that league where our other Norfolk rivals like Diss and Wymondham are.”

RUGBY - Thurston (TN) v Thetford (TD)..Pictured: ...PICTURE: Mecha Morton .... (36867912)
RUGBY - Thurston (TN) v Thetford (TD)..Pictured: ...PICTURE: Mecha Morton .... (36867912)

Although he played some games for North Walsham II last season, Beaumont said he will just be concentratingon coaching with Thetford. And he is pleased to have experienced duo Peter Trede and Chris Poole staying on to assist him.

Player-wise, he is set to benefit from forward Ben Brown, winger Stu Awcock, versatile back Jack Bloss and half-back Ryan Tanner returning to the club after time out of the game.

But back rowers Jon Trede and Chowa Chanda have both left for North Walsham while full-back Ryan Gardiner has committed to Diss.

Fly-half Harry Stenton, who has been away at university, will not be returning to the club having agreed to join Diss, a club centre Matt Bailey has also had some initial discussions with.