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Restructure sees Terry Sands step away from active roles at Bury St Edmunds Rugby Club following 17 years service at the Haberden




Bury St Edmunds Rugby Club's move to a 'one club ethos' has led to influential Pro-Am chief Terry Sands ending 17 years of active service with the Woolfpack.

The former England Sevens manager had been in charge of the semi-professional side of the club as Pro-Am chairman, having also previously held the titles of performance director, director of rugby and playing chairman during his time at the Haberden.

Former Hadleigh RFC chairman Sands was instrumental in driving the first XV up to the highest standard in its history to be Suffolk's top club – their present fourth tier National League 2 South division – and sustaining it since promotion in 2015.

Terry Sands (right) will no longer be on the touchline with head coach and director of rugby Jacob Ford Picture: Mecha Morton
Terry Sands (right) will no longer be on the touchline with head coach and director of rugby Jacob Ford Picture: Mecha Morton

The founder of Norfolk-based Samurai Sportswear clothing company, which produced Bury's kits and training range as a sponsor, was also responsible for establishing the club's annual sevens tournament as one of the most popular on the semi-professional circuit as its tournament director.

His famed player recruitment has seen big background players opt to turn out for the Wolfpack over the years, including most recently the Premiership's all-time top try scorer Tom Varndell.

But the club announced to members on Friday that Sands would no longer have an active role at the club, as the first team begins a new era under head coach Jacob Ford. The younger brother of England international George had already stepped into a dual role as director or rugby following Nick Wakely's resignation, but will now also take overall charge of player recruitment.

Bury St Edmunds' performance director Terry Sands (right) welcoming Nick Wakely as the then head coach in November 2018 - both are no longer in positions at the club Picture: Mecha Morton
Bury St Edmunds' performance director Terry Sands (right) welcoming Nick Wakely as the then head coach in November 2018 - both are no longer in positions at the club Picture: Mecha Morton

Chairman Craig Germeney's statement said: "With Nick Wakley recently leaving the club, player recruitment largely finalised and with the successful mini-series against Bishop Stortford now complete, Terry Sands has taken the decision to step aside from his role as Pro-Am Chairman. The club would like to take this opportunity to thank Terry for his 17 years’ service and dedication at the helm of our Pro-Am section. Terry will remain at the club as a life member.”

Germeney explained to Suffolk News that it was a mutually agreed decision with the club looking to move away from having a separate section for their first and second men's teams.

"As much as they are a Pro-Am set-up it is Bury Rugby Club and they are the senior side the same as the senior women's side, it is just about bringing everything under one umbrella," he said.

"We have made some exciting changes at the club with some new people involved and with that comes news ideas and I am looking forward to an exciting future.

Terry Sands pictured on the touchline at Bury in 2013 Picture: Iliffe Media
Terry Sands pictured on the touchline at Bury in 2013 Picture: Iliffe Media

"Terry will always be welcomed down the club and I hope he continues to come and watch rugby here.

"Jacob is now in charge of player recruitment and he had already been responsible for some new players coming in.

"Ben Cooper (first-team player-coach) is also involved in player recruitment and will be stepping up on that front.

"Both of them have got a lot of contacts and recruiting players without Terry should not be something people should be concerned about at all."

Bury St Edmunds step up their preparations for their National League 2 South season kicking off at home to Canterbury on September 4 by hosting higher-league Cambridge on Saturday (3pm).

Meanwhile, Germeney is set to host potential new sponsors at their first league a week on Saturday for pre-match hospitality to discuss what they can offer. Anyone interested in attending the event should email him at chairman@bserufc.co.uk

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