Rugby Union: Head coach David Wiggins insists Wanstead are not in London Two North East just to make up the numbers

PUBLISHED: 12:00 07 September 2017

Wanstead score a try against East London (pic Tim Edwards)

Wanstead score a try against East London (pic Tim Edwards)


Herons will want to build on last season’s promotion when they begin campaign at home to Harlow on Saturday

New Wanstead head coach David Wiggins says his squad have grander plans than simply avoiding the drop in London Two North East this season.

The Herons won promotion from Three North East last term, their 125th anniversary season, but have seen former head coach James Reyburn depart over the summer.

In his place has come Wiggins, a former British Army prop who has previously coached at Bristol and Exeter Chiefs.

And Wiggins is keen for Wanstead to make their mark in Two North East this term, stating that avoiding relegation will not be the mark of a successful season.

“For me, stating that the aim is survival is an opt-out; a good season for us would be finishing in the top five,” said Wiggins.

“If we were to say we only want to stay up, that would be setting our sights too low. We need an aim that will extend the squad this season.”

As well as working with Bristol and Exeter, Wiggins has also been head coach of the Army squad.

His most recent role was with Deal, stepping down from his position as head coach with the Kent club in January.

Deal ply their trade in Two South West, meaning they compete at a similar level to what Wanstead find themselves this term.

And Wiggins is keen to put his knowledge to good use with the Herons in the upcoming campaign.

“Having coached at this level before, I know what is required to do well and with Wanstead stepping up, I want to pass on what I can,” he added.

“When you have drawn on your past experiences, you have to tailor it for the level you are working at.

“I have to do what I can to ensure the players at this club have the best possible opportunity to develop.”

If Wiggins is to achieve that, he will need high levels of commitment from his new squad, but the head coach says he is already getting that.

“I’ve stressed to the squad they have to buy into the methods we’re trying to employ, and they are doing that.

“It’s all well and good talking, but if you don’t buy into it, you could have (England coach) Eddie Jones in charge and it wouldn’t work.”

Wiggins will get his first taste of life in competitive charge of Wanstead when they begin their London Two North East campaign at home to Harlow on September 9.

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