Fylde’s Head Coach Warren Spragg has been appointed as the Sale Sharks’ fulltime 1st XV squad Kicking Coach. Everyone at Fylde is extremely sorry that the Club is losing such a talented, inspirational coach but we are very pleased that he has such an opportunity at the North West’s Premiership club with whom we have such a close relationship.
We are delighted that Alex Loney and Chris Briers have accepted the posts of Joint Head Coaches with immediate effect to succeed Warren.
Former Head Coach Mark Nelson shrewdly persuaded Warren to join Fylde in the summer of 2012 and he made 101 1st team appearances in the claret & gold before being appointed as Head Coach ahead of the 2017-18 season succeeding Paul Arnold. He has built an excellent squad of mainly very young but highly talented players and led the squad to be runners-up in National Two (North), only denied a good chance of a play-off promotion place by the COVID-truncated 2019-20 season.
The former Kirkham Grammar School student had a distinguished career as a full time professional rugby player in England and Italy before joining Fylde in 2012. His career took him from Sale Sharks where he made his Premiership debut as a 19 year old in November 2002 to Wakefield RFC, Orrell, Calvisano and Petrarca Padova. He earned representative honours for England Schools, England U’21s, Lancashire, England Counties & Italy. He qualified for the Azzurri through an Italian grandmother and was capped for the full international side in 2006 and for the 7s team in 2007.
Fylde Chairman of Rugby Dave Young said: “Warren will be a big loss to the Club but we are delighted that he has earned the chance to coach in the Premiership after a number of years as a successful coach in the Sharks Academy. He is a very shrewd tactician, thinks deeply about the game and is an excellent communicator and manager of players. The loyalty shown by his young and talented Fylde squad is testimony to the way he builds relationships and looks after players.
“Every organisation has to plan succession and we knew that his career would eventually take him to the elite level. We hope that he maintains a close relationship with the Club and I’m sure we will see him regularly popping into the Woodlands. In the meanwhile, Alex Loney and Chris Briers are more than ready to take the baton from Warren and continue the development of coaching in the Fylde style and tradition.”
Warren Spragg said: “I feel incredibly privileged to have played a part at Fylde over the past 8 years, with my time as Head Coach being one of my most enjoyable experiences in rugby to date. There is something bittersweet about having to step aside at this stage when I was loving it so much. This squad has so much potential and there is fantastic off-field support for the team even during these difficult times that will ensure the club returns to rugby stronger than ever. However, I know that I am leaving with the playing and coaching group in a fantastic place. Lono and Briersy are going to be excellent coaches and leaders who I believe will take the team to that next level that I didn’t quite manage, and I know that Ben Gregory will become an outstanding club captain.
“Finally, I would like to take this time to thank Dave Young for giving me the confidence that the Club was always behind me. I will always be grateful for the opportunity to have led such an amazing group of players and people at a club that I love, and I am looking forward to coming back to the Woodlands as a fan as soon as Saturday become match days again!”