RUGBY: Krissie takes the reins with Blues

Bridport and Lyme Regis News: NEW BRIDPORT CAPTAIN: Rob Sullivan NEW BRIDPORT CAPTAIN: Rob Sullivan

SEEING a woman coach at any level of men’s rugby is still a rare sight these days – not at Bridport RFC.

With two women already coaching in the club’s junior set-up, the Blues have given their top job to Krissie Washington, formerly with Welsh region Cardiff Blues.

Washington will be assisted in running the first-team by Ayorinde Fraser, previously with Guildford, with Rob Sullivan taking over from Ricky Stubbs as captain.

The club also has a new chairman in the shape of Mark Perkin as well as a schools liaison officer in Guy Furner as Bridport look to build for the future.

The Blues are trying to secure their RFU accred- itation and Perkin feels that giving opportunities to women can work in their favour.

“With one female coach we could be accused of tokenism but with three hopefully the RFU will look on us favourably for our accreditation,” he said.

“Some may look at it as a bit of a novelty but Krissie is a proper coach with a qualification.

“She may not be able to take a tackle from some of the lads but she has played representative rugby for England and knows what she is talking about.

“It doesn’t matter about what sex she is, the boys will listen and she is someone who can pass on her knowledge.”

Perkin is hoping that the new coaching set-up will have time to bed in, while in the short term, it’s all about stability as the Blues prepare to get their Dorset & Wilts One South season under way on Saturday at Frome Seconds (3pm).

“We’ve lost a few players since last season and with a new coaching team, the aim is not to get relegated,” added Perkin. “We’re hoping the first and seconds (home to Blandford Seconds on Satur-day) can stay where they are and keep things on an even keel this year.”

n The firsts were knocked out of the Dorset & Wilts Cup last Saturday with Mike Pibworth scoring their only try in a 45-5 defeat at East Dorset.

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