PONTYPOOL'S struggle to complete their new coaching team is continuing after having no joy in their quest for a backs coach.

Last week, Pooler appointed Steve Hill as forwards coach but the club are still searching for a backs coach to join the former Cross Keys assistant.

The pair will work in tandem, with neither given the title of head coach, but despite interviewing a number of candidates the search continues for the second part of their team to spearhead the bid to bounce back to the Premiership at the first attempt.

Company secretary Arthur Crane said: "We are still looking for a backs coach, we had a potential coach lined up but unfortunately after sitting on the fence for a while he decided it wasn't for him.

"We have had talks with three prospective coaches to date but it hasn't worked out so the process is ongoing.

"We have another couple of candidates lined up and we hope to meet with them at the end of the week."

Hill will be taking charge of his first training session next week on his return from holiday but in his absence the preparations for the new campaign have already begun.

Pre-season training has attracted more than 20 players, coming from a range of clubs throughout Gwent, and of that number are 12 who have stayed on from last year.

Captain Dave Smith, vice-captain Neil Giles, Lloyd Burns, Nicky Blake, Nathan Daniel, Ian Davies, Jamie Jeune, Robert Nash, Gavin Ferguson, Darryl Cox, Owen Price and Craig Powell have all committed to the club and Crane is optimistic for the coming season.

He said: "We have retained 12 of the squad from last season, which isn't bad because I think Newbridge were left with around four when they dropped down.

"We're also hoping to add a few more players in the coming weeks. There is a lot of home-grown Torfaen players in the squad and I already sense that it is a much happier squad and that they are looking forward to the challenge."