Town old boy Buxton pleased to go back to roots
PETE Buxton is intent on building strength in depth as he assumes the forwards coaching duties at Cheltenham.
The 33-year-old Gloucester loose forward will work in tandem with head coach Will Mbanga at Cheltenham this term.
Cheltenham-born Buxton started his career at the Prince of Wales Stadium club, before moving on to prominence at Newport.
Buxton has since passed a decade's service at Kingsholm, and he also coaches Gloucester's Under-15s Academy side while working towards his RFU level three coaching qualification.
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Last season he was involved in the Cheltenham Saracens backroom staff, but now makes the move back to his first rugby club.
Keen to help the South West One East club forge a fruitful future, Buxton said he is delighted to team up with Mbanga.
Buxton said: "It's the club where I started playing rugby so it's great to have the chance to go back there and hopefully help out.
"Hopefully we can build a bit of strength in depth, build some numbers at training and produce two decent sides.
"I'm currently doing my level three coaching course, and this is another great opportunity to gain more coaching experience.
"Will is hugely enthusiastic and very knowledgeable about rugby and I'm really looking forward to working with him.
"Hopefully I'll be able to learn from him, and vice versa.
"He's worked with Liam Middleton, who is now at Bristol, so has a good level of experience and hopefully we can work well together.
"I'll be helping with the forwards and doing a little bit of defence too, so it should be interesting.
"It's changed a lot since I left, as you would expect given that was about 15 years ago.
"But the aim is definitely to build things up again a little bit, and hopefully we can have a good season.
"There's a good core group of players there and that's what we'll be trying to build on and expand."
Former Swansea and Neath player Chris Scott will take up a greater role in youth development, having coached the colts for several years.
Head coach Mbanga said it is a real boost that a Cheltenham old boy with an impressive career wants to return to his first club.
Keen to harness the potential of the new coaching line-up, Mbanga said: "I am really excited about Pete coming on board to work with the forwards.
"I get on very well with Pete and he brings great value in terms of his playing experience, of course.
"Chris Scott will help to develop some of the younger players, to bring them through the system, and that's another exciting development too.
"With more personnel and more voices hopefully that will give us the ability to kick on.
"Chris has coached colts for a while and he has got a wealth of experience having played for Swansea and Neath, so he has always played at the top of the game and will add extra value there.
"I think the most exciting thing about having Pete coming in is that he played all of his junior rugby at Cheltenham, and that's something you want to aim for as a club.
"You want your players to come through the system, move through to higher honours – but then also come back in the future, and get involved in either administration or coaching.
"I am really looking forward to working with Pete and he is a guy who wants to develop as a coach."