One of the medium term objectives set by the Executive Committee, is to increase the number of home-grown players in the First team squad. This season, we have seen Finley O’Sullivan break into the squad, and Alex Witchell recently passed 25 appearances for the First team. Both of these players started at Blackheath in the Minis and progressed through the Juniors and the Bandits and eventually into the First team squad. The graduation of these players through the age group teams and into a high level of senior rugby is gratifying for everyone and we should be very proud that our club has produced players who can compete at this level. The success achieved makes us more focused to build and develop the pathway for other young players to follow.

With that in mind, we are very pleased to announce that James Shanahan has been appointed as Director of Rugby for Blackheath. One of his main responsibilities will be to have oversight of rugby coaching across the Club. To achieve our objective of producing players who are capable of competing at senior level we need to improve our standards and consistency of coaching across the Club. James will be available to meet with the Blackheath coaches and support them to build a framework of development for our young players, and help to raise the standards of our teams. 

Our goal is to increase the number of young players that we attract to Blackheath so that we strengthen our playing ability across all sections of the Club.

James will continue as Head Coach of Blackheath and to lead his coaching team responsible for the First team and the Club XV. He will be available to meet coaches on a Tuesday and Thursday afternoon and evening during the season and on match days when Blackheath is playing at The Utilita.


James Fleming, Chairman

Russell Ticehurst, Managing Director