The once-great Rugby Lions have big plans to bring the glory days back to the town with confirmation that Neil Back has signed a five-year contract to be head coach at the club.
Back, who resigned from Leeds Carnegie in May after they were relegated from the Aviva Premiership has committed to a new regime in Rugby that is pledged to bring Premiership rugby to the club, via new 30,000 seater stadium with a hotel, retractable roof, and conference centre
The vision has been created by businessman Michael Aland, who takes over at the club on Tuesday. He is the owner and managing director of Vancouver-based Rugby Construction Group.
“I received an approach from Michael in May, less than an hour after my resignation from Leeds Carnegie was announced. He sold me his vision of taking this famous club back to the top flight of English rugby, whilst doing something really meaningful for the town,” said Back who will be joined at the National League Three Midlands club by Ben Gollings as his attack coach.
“It is a big call for me having coached in the Aviva Premiership and I have asked myself whether it is a retrograde step given how ambitious I am. It’s not about money. Nor is this is an easy option, which is why I asked for a five-year contract. But I believe that turning around Rugby and getting the club to the Premiership would be a significant achievement and one I can use as a stepping stone to coaching at the very highest level.
“This is an incredible challenge and one which, after a great deal of thought, I felt I could not turn down.”
Aland, a former player with Rugby in the 1980s, added: “I feel there is a lack of an academy for the developing world of rugby,” he said. “So my idea was to acquire a club in the UK and bring players through in a way conducive to the country they represent. But this is very much about giving the town of Rugby something of which it can be proud. Any time I put a company together I always start with as good a management team as I can get. I looked around the Premiership and the second Neil became available he was my No1 candidate.”