Egremont Rangers have appointed Gary Hewer as head coach for the 2020 season at Gillfoot Park.

Hewer is highly respected as a dual code coach with success in both rugby league and rugby union.

He has coached the Carlisle RU club and was part of the coaching team that took Cumbria to county glory at Twickenham.

Currently he is in charge of the Cumbria amateur RL side set to play their first game of the season at the weekend.

A former BARLA international, Hewer has also coached at professional level when he was number two at Whitehaven.

Egremont chairman Mark Chorley said: “We are delighted that Gary has joined us as I know he was very keen to get back into club coaching.

“I know he watched both our National Conference and Cumberland League sides in the season just ended and has a good idea on the players we have.

“Gary was interviewed by one of our coaches John Wells and it was on his recommendation that we offered Gary the job."

He added: “We usually start training early in the New Year and I know Gary is keen to get started. I gather he has already spoken to some of the players.

“Gary will take over from John Paul Brocklebank who stepped down to have more time with his young family, but is prepared to play on. I know that John Paul also recommended Gary for the job.

“We are the second-placed club in West Cumbria behind Wath Brow and we will be looking to improve on that. We started really well last season and were top of the league for a while until injuries hit us hard.

“But our A team won the EB Lamb Amateur Cup for the first time in years last month and they have picked up silverware for the last four years so there’s something there to build on.”

Hewer will be in charge of the Cumbria squad who open their Tri Series tournament at Leigh Miners Rangers tomorrow against Lancashire.

Cumbria has named a 23-man squad for the Lancashire game: Jake Stockdale, Gary Taylor (Glasson), Jordan Stafferi, Luke Penrice (Ellenborough), Sam Jones, Leon Crellin, (Egremont), Lee Postlethwaite, Adam Jackson, Craig Foster (Maryport), Adam Kelly, Connor Saunders, Matt Henson (Egremont), Jonny Goulding (Cockermouth), Jason Graham (Ellenborough), Ryan Wilson (Ellenborough), Noah Robinson, Matty Bewsher (Egremont), Carl McBain, Callum Nelson, Dan Fryer (Glasson), Hanley Dawson, Josh Bayliss, Jordan O’Leary (Seaton).

The Under-19s also play at Leigh against Lancashire and their 21-strong squad is: Aaron Turnbull, Austin Mossop, Brad Richards, Cameron Taylor, Charlie Emslie, Clarke Chambers, Connor Tirrell, Elliott Bibby, Ethan Bickerdike Evan Jones, Jack Crarey, Jack Kelllett, Jack Stevenson, Jacob Johnson, James Ennis, Jamie Brown, Karl Garner, Kieran Fleming, Shane Sanderson, Will Ennis, Zak Steel.