BY COURTNEY REES
Southern Inland Rugby Union
A TURNAROUND has seen former Griffith coach Seru Rogo land at Leeton this season.
Rogo will join Liam Ward as co-coach for the rebuilding Phantoms.
Putting his family first, Rogo decided to put off a move to Canberra and remain in the Southern Inland rugby union fold.
Son Zakariah is four months old and Rogo's wife Vanessa wanted to remain in Griffith while
Faced with splitting up the family, Rogo told Canberra club Easts he wanted to wait another year before making the move.
Rogo led the Blacks to the premiership last season, while Leeton struggled.
However after the ordinary year last season, the Phantoms have recruited well.
Helped by Rogo's influence a number of Blacks players have linked with the club including former Fijian international Marika Vunibaka.
Dan Patu and Farrel Maota have also joined the club from New Zealand.
Rogo has been happy with how he and the new faces have been settling in at the club.
"Training has been going really good for the last three to four weeks that I've been there," Rogo said.
"I'm looking forward to the season ahead."
President Bart Challacombe has been impressed with the new recruits, as well as the numbers at training.
"The pleasing aspect is for the first time in a while we should have pretty good depth right across the park," Challacombe said.
"Having these new blokes come in to lead on-field is also a bonus.
"What it will mean is everyone will need to train hard to fight for their spot in first grade.
"Hopefully it also means we won't have to be relying so heavily on our under 17s to back up on Saturdays.
"That will them give them more experience in age rugby and possibly second grade before we need to bring them up."
The Phantoms will start their pre-season at the Cootamundra 10s carnival on March 7 before returning to Leeton for the 15s carnival on March 21.
The Blacks are yet to announce Rogo's replacement.
- with The Irrigator
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.