Premiership: Bristol Bears snap up former Newcastle Falcons head coach Dave Walder as backroom shake-up continues

·2-min read
Dave Walder Credit: Alamy
Dave Walder Credit: Alamy

Bristol Bears have added Dave Walder and Chris Morgan to their coaching team as they look to bounce back following a disappointing 2022/23.

Walder will join the Premiership outfit as senior backs and attack skills coach while Morgan will arrive at Ashton Gate as assistant forwards coach in June.

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Former Newcastle Falcons head coach Walder established a reputation as one of the brightest young coaches in the game during his time at Kingston Park.

Recently departed Newcastle

Walder, who scored over 1,000 Premiership points as a player for Wasps and Newcastle, spent four years as backs and attack coach before becoming boss.

Bristol Bears director of rugby Pat Lam expressed his delight at securing the services of ex team-mate Walder, who replaces the outgoing Conor McPhillips.

“With Conor moving on at the end of the season, we’re delighted to be able to bring someone of Dave’s calibre into the coaching team,” the ex-Falcon said.

“He is an exceptional coach who has already amassed a huge amount of experience and respect in the Premiership, both as a backs and attack coach and more recently, a head coach at Newcastle Falcons.

“He has an excellent understanding of the game, a great rapport with the players and I believe he will add huge value to the Bears on and off the field.”

Walder added: “I’m hugely excited by this opportunity and can’t wait to get started with the Bears. I know how ambitious this club is and look forward to contributing to the vision and long-term success at Ashton Gate.

“Knowing Pat well from my playing days at Newcastle, I’m looking forward to working with him and the rest of the coaching staff at the club. It’s a talented group of players with a world-class training facility, so I’m relishing the challenges ahead.”

Morgan to support Mark Irish

41-year-old Morgan, who will assist newly appointed senior forwards coach Mark Irish, has previously worked as Worcester Warriors Academy forwards and transition coach and assistant coach at Championship side Cornish Pirates.

Director of rugby Lam said: “Chris is an exciting young coach who has a strong pedigree and an excellent understanding of our game and what we want to achieve.

“He has experience in both the Premiership and Championship and will work closely with Mark Irish on all aspects of our forward play.”

Morgan said: “To fulfil the role of Bears assistant forwards coach is a massive honour that I am privileged to take on. I am excited by the challenges ahead and supporting the growth of the players.”

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