Group 10 coaching merry-go-round: ducks line up for big clubs

The coaching jigsaw puzzle is beginning to piece itself together ahead of the 2017 Group 10 season, with three clubs this week confirming premier league mentors for next winter.

Dragons president Jared Robinson with 2017 coaches Jono George (18s), Sebastian Flack (First Division), and Peter Hickman (Premier League).

Dragons president Jared Robinson with 2017 coaches Jono George (18s), Sebastian Flack (First Division), and Peter Hickman (Premier League).

Defending premiers Mudgee have lost the mastermind behind last season’s thrilling run from fifth to the premiership win at Wade Park, in Tony Pascoe. 

The Dragons do, however, welcome back 2009 title winning coach Peter Hickman, a coach with a long and decorated history with the red and whites.

Lithgow confirmed the signature of Western Rams prop Chris Rhodes as its first grade coach in 2017, the club desperate to put a tough 2016 campaign behind them.

While the Cowra Magpies are hinging their resurgence of junior Rory Brien, the former Parramatta Eels under 20s captain to again coach his junior club.

Orange Hawks remains the only club without a head coach in 2017, with new two blues management preferring not to rush the decision in a bid to get the right man. 

“Initially I was of the opinion we needed to jump in straight away … but the season is still five months away,” Hawks president Mark Johnson said, with as many as three applicants vying for the two blues head coaching role in 2017.

Mick Sullivan will continue his long and successful rein at Orange CYMS, Todd Barrow will continue to captain-coach Bathurst Panthers and Kurt Hancock will again mentor Bathurst St Pat’s.

Former NRL player Luke Branighan this week agreed to terms with the Oberon Tigers, taking over from last year’s captain-coach Zac Rowlandson.

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