New Men’s & Club Coaching Team

23rd December 2020

We are delighted to confirm our new coaching structure. Based on our Strategic Plan 2020-2025 and a recently completed Performance review across Men’s, Women’s and Under 18’s-16’s the club were provided with a number of recommendations, which have now been implemented.

Firstly many thanks to Leroy Hughes (Coach ) and Ross Nelmes (1st Team Manager) for the last two seasons and starting the transformation, who have sadly decided not to continue in their posts. So from the New Year, the Club lead coach and men’s coaching team set up is as follows:


Men’s Head Coach

Jack Petelo

Responsible for Senior Men’s Playing matters, Forwards and player recruitment

Jack joined Cheltenham Tigers two seasons ago and has been a player and player-coach, we are delighted he has accepted a more senior role and may finally hang up his playing boots.

Jack said “I am really pleased to accept this new challenger, after joining the club, I quickly realised what a fantastic place it was and how much they value the family, lots to do but I am really excited about the challenges ahead”


Club Lead Coach

Tom Hudson

Responsible for Attack play, Club ethos, culture, S&C, Physio and lead in the junior Pathway

Tom has previously coached the Clubs women’s team and as a current professional player brings a wealth of rugby knowledge and contacts to the Club.

Tom added “ this is an exciting time, we have a great feeder system and over the next few years we need to make the most of the talent available. In my view Club culture and ethos is key and we will be bringing that to all sections and all teams in the Club. I cannot wait to try and create a style of rugby on and off the field that resonates across Gloucestershire rugby


Assistant Coach

Craig Ballinger

Responsible for Defence and Breakdown.

Craig joined the club last season as a 7 and performed really well. Wishing to develop his coaching skills and remain involved in the game when his playing days are over added “I have had a huge amount of enjoyment from my time playing this game. I have lots I would like to give back to the game. Fitness and a winning mentality is key for me and we have a lot of very talented players, some older and some younger who I believe with added focus and commitment could bring a lot of success to the Club, I am looking forward to the challenge and my transition from playing over the next couple of years”


Assistant Coach

Rob Jones

Responsible for back play and skills

Rob joined the Club in the summer with a view to develop our back play. His introduction has been delayed due to COVID-19, however Rob added- “after some successful times at Old Cents I have a really strong desire to continue playing, but also to start developing my coaching skills. The set up here seems the perfect place to make this happen, I am really excited”


Assistant Coach

Will Crane

Responsible for Front five and line out

Will has joined the coaching team as a current Championship team captain who  is very keen to develop his coaching credentials. “ I am delighted to be given this opportunity, Cheltenham is a club with great facilities and a player base and youth programme that is truly exciting, I am really excited to have this opportunity to cut my coaching teeth in a very competitive league”


Assistant Coach

Aaron Leese Williams

Responsible for United Rugby, player integration and Development matches

Aaron joined the Club in the summer as our 2nd team coach, deciding to give his refereeing career a break. An enthusiastic and knowledgeable rugby man added “these are exciting times at the Tigers- we have quite a few more experienced players who have a few decent years rugby left in the tank and also a huge number of young up and coming players, I see it as my task to mould both these groups and build an exciting team to push all the local sides and challenge for the league we are now in. Hopefully, we will have some support from a reformed Nomads team as well”


The club is delighted to confirm all the above appointments. Once we are able to start training properly and matches can be played it will be really exciting to witness how this coaching group develops. Club chairman added “ I believe this will be one of the most exciting coaching teams around, lots of positive intent with a common desire to build a happy and thriving environment, with a hard competitive edge that many will want to be part of, come and watch and support. Probably the best group that has been put together in my time at the Club”


We are a competitive rugby club providing sport for all. Our players start as Tiger Cubs (under 4’s) and play at all levels and ages up to Veterans, boys and girls, men and women, in fully inclusive environment, embracing all of rugby's core values.