The Warwick Water Rats A-grade coaching team, (back, from left) co-coaches Shane Hooper and Ryan Smith, trainer Andrew Grafton, manager John O’Leary and (front) president Justin Wynn.
The Warwick Water Rats A-grade coaching team, (back, from left) co-coaches Shane Hooper and Ryan Smith, trainer Andrew Grafton, manager John O’Leary and (front) president Justin Wynn. Contributed

United attack

WARWICK Water Rats president Justin Wynn reckons the club has all bases covered with the appointment of Ryan Smith and Shane Hooper as joint A-grade coaches for the 2011 season.

Next season, Warwick will only field one open team in the Darling Downs competition after moving up to A-grade in 2010.

Wynn said with Hooper looking after the backs, it would take some of the pressure off Smith, who coached the forwards and backs this season.

Hooper has played fullback for Queensland Country and also flyhalf and centre in club footy.

Smith is primarily a back rower but has moved to halfback to help out the club when required. He is also a goal kicker.

Smith said it wasn’t just about the coaches but the coaching staff as a whole.

“We have John O’Leary as manager and Andrew Grafton as head trainer, both have a lot of experience,” Smith said. “I am still seeking an assistant trainer.”

Smith said Hooper would add a lot of experience with his coaching of the backs.

“He is one of the better players on the Darling Downs,” Smith said.

“We have a prop coming from the United Kingdom in February who approached John O’Leary to play rugby in Australia.

“By all reports, he is up to representative standard. We have a few more prospective players.”

The Water Rats expect to retain all players from this year, including former Kiwi player Jarred Jensen, who suffered a season-ending injury early in 2010.

As well as coaching A-grade with Hooper, Smith will coach at under-19 level if Warwick has a team.

Wynn said fielding an U19 team depended on how many of the 2010 U17 players stayed in town after leaving school.

Warwick will again field an U17 team with Wynn the coach.

A date for a sign-on will be determined at the club AGM next week.



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