Paignton have named ex-pro and Brixham coach Martin Worthington as their new coach. Credit: Paignton RFC

Rugby round-up: It's all change with new head coaches - and new divisions

Dave Thomas

It’s all change on the South Devon rugby front, with new divisions as part of a major restructure and two local clubs, Paignton and Torquay Athletic, appointing new head coaches.

The nationwide RFU shake-up has been made to help ease growing pressures on grass-roots clubs and players, with division sizes reduced to streamline fixture lists and cut travelling costs.

The South-West ‘pyramid’ has been changed to create Regional and Counties divisions.

Brixham are in Regional One SW, along with most of their opponents last season plus promoted Devonport Services and Chew Valley.

Newton Abbot and Teignmouth will be rivals again in Regional Two SW.

Paignton, who have named ex-pro and Brixham coach Martin Worthington, 41, as their new coach, are in a new-look Counties One West.

They line up with Topsham, Cullompton, Kingsbridge, Tiverton with Cornish trips to Bude, Pirates Amateurs (Penzance), Falmouth and Penryn.

Torquay, who have welcomed back their former player-coach Dan Williams, 33, as head coach, line up in Counties Two (Devon Premier), with no journeys outside Devon but several 2nd XVs (Brixham, Barnstaple, Devonport Services, Ivybridge) among their opponents.

The Tics also meet promoted duo Exeter Saracens and South Molton.

Counties Three (Devon West) have the 2nd XVs of Newton Abbot, Paignton and Teignmouth, plus Totnes and Dartmouth.

And New Cross (Kingsteignton) are in Devon East, with Buckfastleigh Ramblers and the 2nd XVs of Sidmouth, Cullompton, Tiverton, Crediton and Okehampton among others.

The 2022-2023 season starts on September 3, with Brixham travelling to Weston-super-Mare.

Other fixtures that day include Sidmouth v Newton Abbot, Teignmouth v Sherborne, Penryn v Paignton, Torquay Athletic v Honiton, Brixham II v South Molton, Paignton II v Teignmouth II, Newton Abbot II v Plymstock Albion Oaks and Okehampton II v New Cross.