Shropshire Star

Successful coaches set to step down in the summer

Two of Shropshire’s most successful rugby coaches are set to step down from their positions at the end of the season.


Newport director of rugby Bob Adams is to leave the National Two West club after 18 years with the Old Showground outfit, while Mikey Jones has decided to end his hugely successful stint as head coach at Ludlow.

Adams arrived at Newport from Wolverhampton two decades ago and after eight years coaching juniors, he stepped up to the senior ranks and under his guidance they club achieved National League rugby when they won the Midlands Premier title in 2022.

But now Adams, who is battling to keep the club at that level this season, has decided it’s time to step aside.

“I will be announcing my retirement from Newport at the end of the season,” said the 55-year-old. “This is my 10th year at senior level after eight with the juniors, and I think it’s the right decision.

“The job demands total commitment and I have given it that during my time with the club.

“If you can’t give it total commitment, then it is time to pass it on to someone else.

“National League rugby is very demanding and very tough. It’s also very time consuming. You can’t just pick it up on training nights and matchdays.

“After 10 years with the seniors, I think my energy levels have been drained. The last two pre-seasons have been full on and I didn’t get time to recharge my batteries. I have had some fantastic years here but now is the time to recharge my batteries and spend some time with my family.”

Adams will leave with the knowledge that he has helped the club punch above their weight by reaching National League level.

“I think all leaders should have a vision and I had a vision when I took charge of the first team,” he said. “That vision was to play National League rugby and there were a few doubters at the time. We got promoted to level five in my first season and were then relegated the following year. We bounced straight back and then finished in the top three for four years running.

“But we then went on to achieve promotion to the National League.

“I was made an honorary life member after we gained promotion, which was a great honour, but I think the biggest achievement was keeping the side up last season following promotion.”

Meanwhile, Jones cited work and family commitments as the reasons behind the decision to step down from Ludlow.

During his coaching stint at Ludlow, the 37-year-old led the side to three promotions and to their highest level in the rugby pyramid.

“I am proud of what I have achieved here, but more proud of what the players have achieved,” he said “They bought into what I wanted to do from day one and they have been fantastic.

“We have taken the club to the highest level they have ever played at and won three promotions, so it’s been pretty successful.

“There have been a few proud moments, probably getting promoted to Midland One and the following that up by finishing third or fourth the following season are the ones that stand out.” This season has been more challenging due to availability issues, but Jones is leaving a side in rude health and packed with talent.

“Whoever takes over is taking over a team in a good position,” he added. “The potential these boys have is unbelievable. It’s a young side and I’m sure in another three or four years they will by rattling up another league.”

Jones’s men turned on the style last weekend as they hammered Malvern 49-5 thanks to tries from James Durban, Stuart Lewis, Ben Black, AJ Locke, Matt Ashley, Jack Lines and Regan Jordan.