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Scott secures top job as Mbanga moves on

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: January 24, 2013

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CHRIS Scott has been promoted to Cheltenham head coach after Will Mbanga had to step down due to other commitments.

Scott has been coaching the club's seconds and junior sides but will now lead the Prince of Wales Stadium men in their fight against the South West One East drop.

Former British and Irish Lion Darren Morris, who oversees the club's coaching group, played with Scott at Neath at the start of their careers and has full faith in his abilities.

"I started playing against Chris in 1992 when he was an openside flanker at Newport and I was at Neath," said former Leicester prop Morris.

"But then he joined Neath in 2004 and we have been friends ever since.

"It's quite coincidental how we bumped into each other again at Cheltenham but it's a good thing because you don't want to shake off good people.

"He has great experience and the relationship he has with players is fantastic and technically he's very good.

"He has quite a broad spectrum in terms of his coaching knowledge and ability.

"The club are extremely thankful and happy with Will and all his commitment in the past and appreciate all the time and effort and the value of his coaching that he has given to the club.

"The combination of his work commitments during the day plus his family meant it was beating him up because he couldn't give the 100 per cent commitment that he wanted to give."

The Town side are currently five points above the relegation zone in the sixth tier of English rugby but have enjoyed a revival of late after winning three out of the last four games.

Mbanga had been at the club for three years and arrived when former head coach Liam Middleton, who is now in charge at Bristol in the Championship, was at the helm.

Now Mbanga says he will have to settle for a seat in the stands along with the rest of the club's supporters on a Saturday afternoon.

"I'd like to take this opportunity to thank the club committee and players for their support and the opportunity to lead and be involved with Cheltenham over the past three seasons," said Mbanga.

"I would also like to thank the club's supporters for their friendship and support.

"While I am stepping down and moving on to pastures unknown at present, I have every confidence that the coaching team in place will continue working hard to ensure the playing and training experience of our players is enjoyable, competitive and successful.

"The coaches certainly bring a lot of enthusiasm and valuable skills and experience with them.

"I will continue to support the red and blacks and am looking forward to sitting in the stands and having a beer in the pub afterwards."

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