DORCHESTER Rugby Club have appointed Josh Ovey as their new head coach.

Ovey will replace the retiring Martin Oxland after the veteran coach’s success with the county town yielded promotion to the Southern Counties plus Dorset & Wilts Senior Vase glory.

Ovey will also continue to play for the club where he has played in the front row for the past three seasons. He previously led training during the last Covid-affected period when guidelines allowed.

Ovey grew up in Barnstaple and played through the Barnstaple RFC youth system and development XV before moving to St Mary’s University where he played first-team rugby for three seasons, gaining promotion and playing in the BUCS Premier League.

At county level he has represented both Devon and Middlesex teams from under-15 to under-20 levels alongside his club rugby.

Returning from university, Ovey took a step back from playing to take on the role of head of rugby at Milton Abbey School.

He also took on coaching roles within the Bath rugby academy pathway and Dorset & Wilts.

Last summer he decided to leave the independent school sector and free up his Saturdays to dedicate more time to playing rugby at Dorchester and setting out a goal to move his coaching to senior level alongside his teaching career.

The club is proud to help him achieve this goal and delighted to develop from within its own setup. Within Ovey’s coaching team will be other players including Adam Makepeace and Matt Read.

His aim for the coming season, the 150th for Dorchester, is heavily based around reigniting the love for rugby within the club’s players after a year away, and bringing players back to the club, both on and off the field.

Ovey is a huge supporter of the Wooden Spoon Children’s Charity of Rugby and this support led to the crazy lengths of achieving a world record with the Wooden Spoon team, playing the longest game of contact rugby ever, lasting over 30 hours.

Club chairman Tony Foot thanked Oxland for all his hard work and wishes Ovey all the best for his new challenge.