Huddersfield RUFC director of rugby Gaz Lewis believes the time is right to step down after a decade in charge.

Lewis, 42, announced last week that he intends to hand over the reins at the end of the season, take a break from the rigours of the sport and spend more time with his children.

“Nothing lasts forever and the time has come,” said Lewis. “I think I’ve taken this club as far as I can. I have built a number of decent squads in my time in charge and when I was looking back at that first squad there was not one player still at the club.

“That shows how we have evolved and changed and now I think we are in a good position to be a highly competitive National 2 North side which can go on and do good things in this competition.

“We’ve shown over the last few weeks that we can not only match the best sides at this level but beat them too. However, I feel the club will now benefit from a fresh impetus to take it forward and see how it can evolve again.

“I’ve given all I can to this role and sacrificed a lot over the last 10 years. There’s an incredible amount of work that goes in behind the scenes and alongside a number of other key stakeholders. The time during the pandemic was particularly challenging, of course.”

Gaz Lewis with son Harry

On spending more time with his family including his two children Harry, 13, and Olivia, aged nine, he said: “In the short term I’d like to spend more time with my kids and make sure those special moments don’t pass me by.

“I have to thank my family, dad Graham, and my kids Harry and Olivia. I know we’ve sacrificed a lot but we’ve done it together. Their endless love and support and some serious ‘plate spinning’ has allowed me to follow my passion and hopefully make them proud.

“I have given the job everything and it’s a very demanding role. I live and breathe rugby. I just think I need to recharge my batteries before jumping into another opportunity.”

When Huddersfield moved to Lockwood Park in 1997 Lewis was a member of the club’s Academy team. The talented and ambitious young flanker went on to play rugby in National 1 and the Championship with Leeds Tykes, Halifax, Harrogate and Manchester, returning to Huddersfield to complete his career in 2009.

In his time away from the club he made cup-winning appearances at Twickenham with Halifax and Yorkshire Under 20s and on his return he was a member of the Huddersfield team that lifted the Yorkshire Cup in 2011.

He took on the coaching role in 2013, winning a National 3 championship in his first season in charge. Under his leadership the team has played eight seasons in National 2, with a second National 3 championship coming in 2017, their only other season out of it.

Gaz Lewis celebrates success on the field

Lewis’ time at the club will go down in history having not just led the side over the past 10 years but led it through its most successful spell. Having taken charge of more than 250 games he’ll go down as one of the club’s longest serving coaches too.

Lewis, who was National 2 North Coach of the Year in 2018, described rugby as the “greatest game on the planet” and wanted to thank everyone he’d worked with over the years.

Lewis isn’t going to rush into any decision on what he does next but does he want to stay in the sport?

“It would have to be for the right opportunity,” he said. “I want to work on a project like at Huddersfield and work towards something.

“I’ve had a couple of interesting conversations but we’ll just see where they go. Obviously, I want to finish the season with Huddersfield on a high.”