Barnstaple have appointed a new head coach to guide them through their first season back in the South West Premier.

Steve Perry in action against Exmouth. Picture: Bob CollinsSteve Perry in action against Exmouth. Picture: Bob Collins

Player and forwards coach Bryn Jenkins has stepped up to the role following the departure of Steve Perry.

Perry has joined Devon rivals Exmouth as head coach, leaving Barnstaple after six years spent both on the field and as a coach.

In that time Barum have enjoyed two seasons of National League Two rugby, after securing promotion via a play-off in 2016.

Fly half and centre Jake Murphy will work alongside Jenkins, taking on the role of backs coach in addition to his work on the field.

Jake Murphy has taken on the role of backs coach at Barnstaple. Picture: Bob CollinsJake Murphy has taken on the role of backs coach at Barnstaple. Picture: Bob Collins

Barnstaple chairman Craig Bulley said: “It was a surprise to lose Steve, but we’ve moved quickly and appointed from within.

“Bryn will oversee and run the forwards and Jake will look after the backs.

“It gives us good continuity, but it also gives us a chance to freshen things up at the same time – it’s the best of both worlds in some ways.

“They’re two good, young coaches with aspirations to develop the team.

“As a club we are really pleased, and pleased to have moved quickly to secure the people we wanted.

“We’ve got one or two secondary appointments to make for other coaching roles that we are finalising, but we are looking as it as something very positive for us and it’s an opportunity for us to go in a slightly different direction and have some new focus.”

The provisional fixtures for the South West Premier season were released on Wednesday, with Barum facing a reunion with Perry and the Cockles on November 3.

Jenkins’ first game as head coach will be at Weston-super-Mare on September 1, before a trip to runners-up Bournemouth the following Saturday.

Barum’s first home game of the season is against Bracknell on September 15.

Barnstaple South West Premier fixtures

September 1: Weston-super-Mare (A)

September 8: Bournemouth (A)

September 15: Bracknell (H)

September 22: Brixham (A)

September 29: Camborne (H)

October 6: Cleve (A)

October 20: Drybrook (H)

October 27: Exeter University (A)

November 3: Exmouth (H)

November 17: Ivybridge (A)

November 24: Maidenhead (H)

December 1: Newton Abbot (A)

December 8: Old Patesians (H)

December 15: Bournemouth (H)

January 5: Bracknell (A)

January 12: Brixham (H)

January 19: Camborne (A)

January 26: Cleve (H)

February 9: Drybrook (A)

February 16: Exeter University (H)

March 2: Exmouth (A)

March 9: Ivybridge (H)

March 23: Maidenhead (A)

March 30: Newton Abbot (H)

April 6: Old Patesians (A)

April 13: Weston-super-Mare (H)