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THE 2015 Shute Shield coach of the year Simon Cron has been handed the reigns of the Sydney Rays for the 2016 National Rugby Championship season after Damien Cummins stood down.
Cummins, who is head coach at the Manly Marlins, has stepped away from the job recognizing that he wouldn’t be able to do justice to the role with his increasing commitments away from Rugby.
“Coaching a team like the Rays is a major time commitment and we appreciate ‘Turtle’ recognizing early that he would struggle to do the head coaching role justice,” Rays chairman Gary Flowers said.
“Damien’s been with the Rays in a coaching role since we started up two years ago and has been a major contributor to our growth in that time.
“But with Simon (Cron) there the program will maintain our momentum to the start of the NRC towards the end of August.”
Cron was interviewed for the head coaching role and had been installed as an assistant coach to Cummins along with Julian Huxley (Warringah).
His Shute Shield side Northern Suburbs has been the first grade competition’s big improvers this year winning their past five matches and now sitting fourth on the ladder.
Cron has been the head coach at Norths for the past two seasons and is the nephew of All Blacks forwards coach and scrum guru Mike Cron.
In the past month his side has defeated Rays partner clubs Manly, Gordon and Warringah on the weekend at North Sydney Oval.
“Our aim (at the Sydney Rays) is to produce an environment as close to Super Rugby as we can and help transition our players to that level,” Cron said.
“We’ve got to create an identity for the Rays and decide what we stand for and what sort of Rugby that we want play.
“I’ve had numerous discussions with Hux over the past couple of weeks and are on the same page, but we’ll need to have a tight knit and cohesive environment to get the right results.”
Other coaching and off-field staff appointments will be made in coming weeks.