Matt Silva has been appointed as RGC head coach. He will take the Indigo Group Premiership side into the next phase of its journey and is confident the team can challenge for one of the top places in the League at the end of the season.
In addition to the head coach role, Silva will also support the North Wales Academy to help unearth and develop players from across the region to ensure they reach their potential in the game.
Silva, who represented Wales B and won a Rugby League cap for Wales, has worked within player and coach development roles for 15 years and coached Bridgend for the last three seasons. He
follows in the footsteps of a number of other widely respected coaches, most recently Chris Horsman, Damien McGrath, Phil Davies and Mark Jones, who, between them steered RGC through the Leagues, gained promotion to the Premiership and to the historic Cup win in 2017.
Defence coach Latham Tawhai remains as defence coach and former Scarlets prop Phil John remains as forwards coach in the short term but has decided to stand down at the end of September after three years in the role to pursue other coaching opportunities. With his coach development background, Silva aims to work closely with North Wales coaches to develop the next RGC coaching team.
He said, “Taking on this role is a big but very exciting challenge and I can’t wait to get started. It’s key that I get to know everyone involved with RGC and buy into the culture of North Wales rugby and it’s also important I get straight into pre-season so that we can hit the ground running come September. I want to build on the legacy that Mark Jones and all the other past RGC coaches have created and I hope my actions will speak louder than words when it comes to the rugby we produce on the field. While it’s fantastic achievement to win the cup, my main aim is to finish in the top six and qualify for the Super 6 cross-border competition. There is certainly the talent within the current squad to do that.
“I very much plan to work with North Wales community clubs to unearth playing and coaching talent and bring them on the journey with us. It’s fantastic to step into a stable coaching team but when Phil John leaves his post, it would be great to fill it with a North Wales coach and certainly, further down the line, the goal is for RGC to be self-sufficient in terms of players and coaches.”
WRU Community Director Geraint John said, “I believe Matt will be a great appointment for RGC and North Wales rugby, both in the challenge of leading the RGC coaching team and by adding his expertise to the North Wales academy. He has huge experience within the fields of player and coach development, along with his Premiership credentials having ensured Bridgend’s ongoing place in the Indigo Group Premiership last season.
“RGC has gone from strength to strength on and off the field in its short history representing North Wales and has built a proud following of supporters and commercial partners. I’m sure Matt’s appointment will help make new ground as a development region.”
Hywel Roberts, WRU Director and District Council Member for North Wales, said, “Matt’s appointment is another exciting chapter in the development of North Wales Rugby and we are grateful for the steadfast support of Conwy Council in all our endeavours to ensure we have a vibrant and high standard performance and community pathway for all male and female players across North Wales."