Gloucester forward Will James has taken over as head coach at South West One West club Yatton replacing former Bath and Bristol lock Mark Gabey who left the North Somerset club at the end of the season.
James, 32, will combined training and playing in the Premiership with the Cherry & Whites while combining his duties at Yatton in what will be a very competitive season.
Plymouth born James, who was capped on four occasions by Wales, had spells with Albion and then with Cornish Pirates before joining the Kingsholm club for the 2006-7 season.
James has played nearly 60 games for Gloucester but he makes clear that although he has taken on the role at Yatton, he has no intention of ending his playing career in the near future.
"I want to keep playing at as high a level as possible for as long as I can but as can be seen from the aftermath of the British & Irish second test in South Africa, rugby can be very physical," said James.
"I got involved at Yatton a couple of years ago when I mentioned to that I would like to get in to coaching to Exmouth based referee Nick Williams who is a former Yatton player."
"Nick invited me along to the club and it has progressed from taking a session once a month until the club asked me recently to become their head coach for the coming season."
"We all recognised that I would be unable to watch them playing on a Saturday as I hoped to be involved at Gloucester. But thanks to modern technology the game will be recorded, cut down and sent to me via the internet."
"It is hoped that I will get that sometime on a Sunday so that I can analyse the good parts and the areas that we need to work on and prepare the strategy for Tuesday night's training session."
"I have completed my level 3 coaching award and now I need to get some experience under my belt. I am still enjoying playing but perhaps when that comes to an end I may concentrate on coaching."
James will be able to call on the services of John Harris and Ian John, who has taken over from Harris as director of rugby, while fly-half Sam Osborne has rejoined the club after two season's at Bridgwater & Albion.
The Wales 'A' international, James made his international debut for Wales at the age of 30 when he was called up by Wales head coach Gareth Jenkins for the encounter against England at Twickenham in August 2007.
Jenkins recognised front jumper James' line-out contribution combined with power at the scrum and ball carrying qualities plus his strong ethos in training, work-rate, fitness and physicality.
He was also selected for the Wales World Cup squad hosted by France in September 2007 and he was included in Warren Gatland's 2008 Six Nations squad.
Last season Yatton finished two places off the foot of the table with just six wins from their 22 games and while James is not targeting promotion this season, he does expect a top half of the table finish.
"Yatton is a village amateur side where there are many committed players who really enjoy their rugby. We recognise that we are again in a very competitive league this season."
"Taunton have been promoted and we start away to third placed Avonmouth OB (September 5) followed a week later by the visit to The Park of second placed Newton Abbot."
"We couldn't have been given a stiffer start to the season but it will give us an early opportunity to judge our own capability. There are a number of other strong sides including newly promoted Hartpury College, the Intermediate Cup holders."
Yatton have arranged two pre-season trials/friendlies starting with a home game against Old Redcliffians (August 18) and then away to Walcott OB (August 22).
Interview courtesy of John Harding of the Sunday Independent
Speaking to the local media this week, Richard Hibbard expressed his excitement ahead of the West Country derby and that there is an extra spring in the step of the Cherry and Whites ahead of the tough challenge.
With such a short turnaround between the two games, and Gloucester looking to reintegrate several players into the line-up after the Autumn international series, Tom Savage told GRTV that the Cherry and Whites will keep changes to a minimum for the European Rugby Challenge Cup game in Zebre on Saturday.
Gloucester travel to Italy this weekend to take on Zebre in Round Four of the European Rugby Challenge Cup. The Cherry and Whites defeated the Italian side 35-10 last Sunday, but Director of Rugby David Humphreys is looking for an improved performance in the return fixture.
On a tough evening at Kingsholm, Gloucester could escape neither a suffocating Bath defence, nor the whistle of referee Greg Garner as six penalties and a penalty try paved the way to a 39-16 win for the visitors.
Gloucester Rugby welcome Sione Kalamafoni, Greig Laidlaw and Tom Palmer back to the starting line up and feature David Halaifonua in a matchday squad for the first time, as they resume Aviva Premiership action against Bath Rugby at Kingsholm on Saturday (kick off 5:30pm).