Former Cronulla Sharks hooker Aaron Raper was yesterday appointed as the new head coach of Wollongong/University Bulls.Raper takes over the reins from Neil Ballinger, who was axed last Saturday after the Bulls had recorded no better than a draw in the first four rounds of the 2008 Illawarra Carlton League regular season.Raper has had coaching experience with the lower grades at Cronulla and also with the Old Bar club on the mid-north coast.He had a season off last year and now has a chance to coach in the Carlton League.Raper's first game at the Bulls' helm will be a testing one when they take on reigning premiers Collegians at University Oval on Saturday. Initially Raper will be relying on input regarding the Carlton League from the likes of ex-South Sydney centre Shane Wilson, who was stand-in coach for the Bulls last Sunday when they recorded their first win of the season, and who will continue in an assistant coach role.Former Illawarra Steeler Dale Fritz will be the Bulls' fitness co-ordinator.Wollongong/Uni president Mark Haigh said the club was pleased to have someone of Raper's calibre as their head coach."We're very happy to have gained the services of someone in the game with so much experience and who wants to assist us and our future," Haigh said.Raper said he was looking forward to the challenge."It's all happened pretty quick and I'm relishing the chance to coach in the Illawarra competition, which I've heard is a strong one. I'm new to it but we'll get a good indication of how things stand on Saturday," he said.