Sandbach head coach Rob Webber is leaving the club at the end of the season to join Jersey Reds.
The Sale Sharks and former England hooker is calling time on his Premiership playing career and will make the move to the Channel Island in the summer as the Reds’ new forwards coach.
The 33-year-old will replace Neil Tunnah at the Championship side.
Webber has been heavily involved in Sandbach’s coaching set up for the past three years, as well as carrying on his professional playing commitments.
He won 16 caps for England between 2012 and 2015, making his final appearance against Australia at Twickenham in the World Cup.
Webber is reunited with Harvey Biljon – Jersey’s director of rugby – who was a team-mate during a loan spell at Blackheath.
“I am really excited about moving to Jersey and joining The Reds’ coaching team,” Webber told the club’s website as he prepares to make the move with wife Lauren and daughter Ronnie.
“It’s a great opportunity for me and my family as I set out on the next phase of my career.
“It is an exciting squad that Harvey and the guys are putting together and I look forward to contributing to helping the lads push on.
“I’d like to thank Harvey and (Reds chairman) Mark Morgan for giving me the opportunity.”
Webber has played more than 300 top-level games in a career which has included spells at Leeds Carnegie, Wasps and Bath, before his move to Sale in 2016.
Biljon, whose side are seventh in the Championship, says he can’t wait to link with up Webber once again.
“We’ve spoken to some very high quality individuals about the role, but Rob stood out and I’ve had a lot of positive endorsements from people I respect,” said Biljon.
““He knows the game and is very articulate and I believe his character will really transmit itself to the others he’ll be working with.
“There’s a lot of excitement about Rob’s arrival and it will be great to have him working in harness with (assistant coach) Ed Robinson – two really promising young English coaches.”
Webber initially linked up with Midlands Premier side Sandbach in 2017/18 as forwards coach along with fellow international and Sale Sharks players Byron McGuigan.
McGuigan left the following season to coach at Bowden, which is nearer to where he lives, and Webber stepped up to head coach, with Andy Bird, the Sharks’ Academy Coach and Manchester Grammar School PE head taking the backs.
This year, Matt Bebbington, who coached National Two side Sedgley Tigers, was added to the coaching staff.
They have helped Sandbach to fifth place in the division with 12 wins from 20 games before the season was suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Sandbach president Paddy Davenport said: “We have been very pleased with how the coaching team has performed and this has shown with the first XV being at its highest level in the history of the club and competing with many semi-professional outfits in the league, despite Sandbach being an amateur team.
“The other Sandbach teams have also shown progress, with both the Saxons and the Stormers gaining promotion last year and more than holding their own in the leagues above.
“We would wish Rob all the best in his future coaching career and feel given our experience he will do really well and I fully expect him to be coaching at the highest level sometime in the near future.
“Clearly the club has benefitted from his experience as a player and him bringing the latest thinking to Sandbach from the Premiership.
“But no doubt we have helped him in learning his trade and finding out what works and what doesn’t. He will always be welcome back at Sandbach.”