Shropshire Star

Newport's Bob Adams set for emotional final day after 18 years

Newport director of rugby Bob Adams is braced for an emotional farewell on Saturday.


Adams, who is also the club’s head coach, will take charge for the final time when his side host Clifton in their last National League Two West game of the season.

A testing campaign has ended in relegation for Newport but Adams will leave with his held high following a hugely successful 18 years at the club.

“There have been a lot of emotions running through my mind this week,” said Adams, who led the club to National League rugby for the first time in their history when they won the Midlands Premier two years ago.

“I have loved all the years I have been here, full stop. There have been ups and downs, but the ups have far outweighed the downs.”

And after having time to come to terms with his decision, Adams is adamant he has made the right call.

“I think the timing is right for me to step down,” he said. “I need a year away from Newport Rugby Club because I have been so emotionally involved for a long time.

“I have put the hours in trying to reach the goals I set and trying to lead from the front.

“If I had gone at things half-hearted I don’t think we would have had the success we have.

“My passion for rugby will never diminish but the time is right to step away. In six or 12 months from now, will I want to get back in? Only time will tell.

“I will miss that Saturday feeling of game day. There is nothing like that as a player or as a coach.

“My journey at the club is coming to an end but it has happened to a lot of players as well.

“It’s the end of an era for myself and also a few of the players who will be playing their last game for the club.

“But we have got a game to play and we want to finish the season with a good performance.

“It will be an emotional day for some of the players as well, but my message to them this week has been to go out and enjoy it.”

Meanwhile, Bridgnorth are set for a proactive summer – on and off the pitch.

The All Blacks new clubhouse will be fully functionally, with the club’s end-of-season awards night scheduled to take place there on May 17, while director of rugby Dan Griffiths and coach Bryan Smallman have started to formulate their on-field plans for next season.

“There is stuff already going on and the wheels are turning,” said Smallman. “Director of rugby Dan Griffiths is speaking to players.

“It’s that time where a lot of players are deciding what they want to do and if they fancy a change.

“It might be the case that a few players come along to have a look at us during pre-season, that has happened before.

“I know there are players who have contacted Dan about the possibility of joining but you never really know until players are signed and are putting their boots on for the first game.

“We have had players spend all pre-season with us in the past and then move somewhere else at the last minute.

“We will have a coaches meeting around the time of the presentation evening and start to plan a few things out and look at what we did well and what we can do better.

“Pre-season will start in early July so you don’t really get that much time.”

Bridgnorth’s season came to a disappointing end last weekend when they were forced to forfeit their Papa John’s Community Cup group clash at Rossendale.

“We have a lot of guys injured and the second team also had a cup match,” said Smallman.

“We could have taken a load of second team players like we did for the clash with Heath, but we wanted them to have a shot at the cup competition.”