Chris Hood to quit Gateshead Thunder position

Chris Hood
Hood has been a key figure at Gateshead for the past decade in a variety of posts

Gateshead Thunder have confirmed that Chris Hood will stand down from his post as director of rugby at the end of the 2011 Championship One season.

Hood, who has been deputising as head coach following Richard Pell's departure, will remain at the club as community director and board member.

"I wanted to focus purely on what I feel is the most important aspect for our future success," Hood said.

"[That is] working with and for our local communities."

He added: "The club is both structurally and financially secure and, alongside a fantastic group of sponsors and fans, is perfectly placed to continue its development."

The 30-year-old will hand over a much-changed Thunder set-up, with a youth system continuing to provide new recruits for the club's first-team from local amateur rugby.

"I've really enjoyed working with the first team in both stints as head coach," Hood said.

"We have taken huge strides forward on the field, through our under-18s, with the current crop of youngsters being the most successful team in our history, as well as our first ever extended scholarship programme.

"Thanks to hard work from ourselves, the RFL, North East Rugby League and all the fantastic community clubs in our region, we now have a steady flow of exciting prospects and junior players who are competing on an even keel with their traditional counterparts.

"I know that our new head coach will be excited by what the opportunity of being with us presents and what he has to work with."