Head Coach – Neil Kelly
Cornwall RLFC are coached by Neil Kelly. The 59-year-old was a hooker or loose forward by trade and played Rugby League for Dewsbury, Featherstone Rovers, Wakefield Trinity and Hunslet.
After hanging up his boots, Neil moved into coaching and cut his teeth with Dewsbury and for Wales as assistant to Clive Griffiths for their 2000 World Cup campaign. After Griffiths departed the Wales hot-seat, Neil was promoted to head coach – a position he held for two years.
Neil’s most successful coaching stint came with the Widnes Vikings between 2001 and 2004. He led the Cheshire outfit into the top flight and was voted Super League Coach of the Year in 2002.
He then moved across the Irish Sea to rugby union club Ulster but two years later was back in rugby league at Leigh. Neil spent just 12 months at the Centurions and returned to the 15-man code with the Namibian and Romanian national sides, coaching both at the 2011 and 2015 World Cups respectively.
In 2017, Neil once again coached Dewsbury while American rugby union side the Houston Sabercats became his next destination. More recently, he has spent time back on these shores away from the oval ball game as a teacher and will now lead the new era of professional Rugby League in Cornwall.
General Manager – John Beach
For close to a decade, John pioneered the establishment of Rugby League in Cornwall after he co-founded the Cornish Rebels. Born in Oldham and a former Saddleworth Rangers junior, John has been a resident and small-business owner in Cornwall for nearly 20 years now, and he and his family live in Redruth. In 2014, John was named the Rugby Football League’s ‘Volunteer of the Year’.
Head of Commercial & Development – Rob Butland
A fellow co-founder of Cornish Rebels, Rob has worked closely with John Beach to steer Rugby League in Cornwall since 2013. His main roles with the Rebels came with the club’s commercial and development departments and he will work in a similar capacity with Cornwall RLFC.
Born in West Yorkshire to a Cornish father, Rob moved to Cornwall as a young teenager and has lived, studied and worked in the Falmouth and Truro area for more than 15 years. He lives with his family in a small rural village between Helston and Falmouth. Rob has also been awarded the prestigious Rugby Football League ‘Volunteer of the Year’ in 2017.
Head of Media & Communications – Gareth Davies
Gareth is responsible for the media output and communications at the club and joined Cornwall RLFC after previously working as a newspaper journalist and sports writer.
Before moving to Cornwall in 2016, Gareth lived in Dorset and his works were seen in publications such as the Bournemouth Daily Echo and for professional football team AFC Bournemouth. After heading west, to pursue a business opportunity in the Cornish fishing village of Mevagissey, Gareth quickly embraced himself in the local sporting scene and he has worked for both local and regional publications based in Cornwall, gaining a reputation as a respected and well-liked journalist.
Despite spending none of his formative years in a traditional Rugby League area, Gareth fell in love with the ‘Greatest Game’ after being taken to watch a professional match at Halifax Panthers’ quaint former Thrum Hall ground in 1993.
A long-time advocate of Rugby League in Cornwall, Christian was first introduced to the sport as a child when the New Zealand touring side played Warrington in 1980 – a club with which his family have had close ties for generations.
A writer and author, he has previously enjoyed roles as a lecturer in broadcast journalism at Falmouth University and in the music business. He has also acted as a primary school governor, parish councillor, and as director of a charitable trust.
Residing in the Falmouth area for most of his life, his son and daughter are both students at Penryn College. Christian’s role as an ambassador equally allows him to champion his passion for the sport and his home area, with the creation of a legacy for younger generations particularly important to him.
Richard has Cornish rugby in his blood. His father Robert played Union for Cornwall and Penryn in the 1960s and Richard himself represented the latter from mini’s right through to the senior ranks in the late 1980s and in the 90s. Richard is also a passionate Rugby League follower, since watching Featherstone Rovers lift the Challenge Cup on TV in 1983 he has continued to follow the men from Post Office Road.
He was a founding member of the Eggs rugby sevens team, formed in 2001 and playing sevens around the UK for almost 20 years. Richard lead the globally recognised sevens brand as Chief Operating Officer and Director of Rugby from 2010 onwards. Now Richard is currently the Partnerships Manager with Moore ClearComm, part of top 15 UK accounting firm Moore Kingston Smith and the Moore Global Group.
He is proud to be an ambassador of Cornwall RLFC, and hopes to play a part in the continued development of the game in Cornwall as we enter the professional ranks.