Evolution for senior coaching structure at Heath RFC - Harlequins star leaves lead coach role

After three seasons back at his childhood club, Haywards Heath RFC Lead Coach Ross Chisholm is moving on - in part due to the financial consequences of Covid-19 on all parties and in part to accommodate the needs of combining a professional rugby career and a growing young family.

Friday, 9th April 2021, 8:59 am
Updated Friday, 9th April 2021, 9:00 am
Martin MacTaggart and Jim Taylor - both Level 3 coaches - are excited to take on full responsibility for senior coaching at Heath

Chisholm is joining the Horsham RFC senior coaching team from next season.

Fortunately for Heath, the Club remains in very good hands since the two other Level 3 coaches in the current senior coaching structure who have been instrumental in building Heath into a London 1 Club - Martin MacTaggart and Jim Taylor - are continuing their collaboration as Lead and Assistant Coach respectively and are excited at being able to look ahead as rugby training was allowed to resume last week.

Although disappointed at the timing of the announcement since Covid-19 has seriously limited competitive rugby this season, Heath has always known that Chisholm’s circumstances meant his stay at the Club would not be long term.

Commenting on this development, Dan Vander, Vice-Chair at HHRFC said: “It has been great to have a Quins professional leading our senior coaching team over recent seasons and we thank Ross for helping take the Club back to London 1. His commitments with Quins have always meant he was not available on matchdays so it is usual for Martin and Jim to be responsible for the team on the pitch and this continuity and experience of the coaching team is great news for our squad.

"We wish Ross well in his next adventure and look forward to the time when competitive rugby is once again allowed and our supporters will be able to watch Martin, Jim and the senior squad show off their rugby skills on the pitch.”

Commenting on taking the reins from Chisholm, Martin MacTaggart - the new Lead Coach at Heath who has been a Playing Pathways Manager with the RFU for the last 16 years, a RFU Coach Trainer, World Rugby Educator and Level 3 Coach - said: “I have known Ross for a very long time and mentored him through his Level 3 qualification so it has been a joy to work with him over the last two seasons and witness the commitment of a professional rugby player as he has evolved into a grassroots rugby coach. I am excited at the future opportunity for Heath in London 1 and know that together with Jim we will make sure the squad continues to develop young talent, while enjoying rugby on and off the pitch and aiming high for the Club.”

Chisholm will be maintaining strong links with Heath, particularly as the Club continues its fund raising campaign to build a new Clubhouse at Whitemans Green and will be returning this summer to lead a two-day rugby camp for junior players. More information will be published at www.hhrfc.co.uk at the end of May.