Oundle Rugby Club have made two top signings ahead of their 40th anniversary season.
After a highly successful 2015-2016 campaign, one which saw them storm to promotion and reach the semi-finals of the RFU Senior Vase, the Northamptonshire club have decided to strengthen their coaching set-up.
Joining Peter Croot and Fred Sagoe on the coaching front next season will be former Northampton Saints star Jon Phillips and ex-Peterborough Lions player Marc Roussouw.
Phillips played 338 games for the Saints in the Premiership between 1989 and 2004 before moving to Bedford Blues where he made another 116 first XV appearances in the National League.
He is also a former Peterborough player/coach and has coached East Midlands Under 16s and Midlands Under 20s as well. He is now director of rugby at Moulton College.
Roussouw, who was a star player for the Lions three seasons ago and helped them attain National League status, will take on a player/coach role at Occupation Road. He originally hails from South Africa, where he played to a high standard at junior level. He plays fly-half or centre.
Oundle’s director of rugby Croot said: “I am delighted with recruiting the experience of both Marc and Jon.
“We have a talented bunch of players here, and I want to challenge them all at whatever level, to be the best they can be.
“To do that you need a great team to support them and I believe we now have that.
“Also we have key players who want to develop a coaching element to their game, and I will encourage them to do that.
“Saad Sait brought a lot of new ideas to the club last year and he will continue in a coaching/development role as well as a key player.
“John Ironmonger will act as a development coach working with the second team and young players to broaden their skills and improve individually.
“We have a clear desire to keep pushing up the league structure while keeping an exciting brand of play and I am confident we now have a coaching team in place to deliver that objective.”
Oundle clinched promotion to Midlands East Division Two (South) last season and will be up against Borough next term.
And as they tread new ground they will also be celebrating their 40th year.
To kick off the anniversary season they are holding a Celebration Dinner on Saturday, September 3 after their first and second team fixtures followed by a fun day for their thriving mini and junior section on the Sunday.
Before then the club have a registration day for senior players on Saturday July 2 (11am-3pm) followed by a social meet and greet. Anyone wishing to join is welcome. The day will be used to assess skills and fitness.