OLD Halesonians enter a brave new era this Saturday after Gary Cox stepped down following 11 years in charge as director of rugby.

One of Cox's proteges, Dan Grant has now taken over the role and said: "We had an incredible amount of success under Gary but now there are big changes ahead. It's something we've been planning since last Christmas and designed to make us more competitive.

"We've put into place a five year plan which we hope will help the club grow.

"One thing we've established since becoming a National 3 side is the size of the squad which is required "Too often, we've started the season well and then fallen away during the second half as injuries start to kick in.

"We're now putting together plans to make the First XV more competitive while making it easier for players coming through the ranks".

Grant first started playing at Old Halesonians as an eight year old before moving to Moseley, but then had his playing career cut short by a string of knee injuries. He added: "We're mindful that we've got quite an elderly squad at the moment and we want to bring the average age down a bit and we feel that can be done by making sure there are opportunities in place for players coming through."

Matt Williams has been brought in as Head of Coaching and will be supported by Ulster hooker Niall Annett who is currently contracted with Worcester Warriors.

They replace previous coaches Ben Hughes and Ben Barkley, both former Stourbridge players, with Barkley having now joined Luctonians as a player.

Grant added: "The idea is to build from within where we have a pool of our own former players who can develop as support coaches".

Old Halesonians commence their National League 3 Midlands campaign on Saturday with a trip to newly promoted Doncaster Phoenix.