Exciting times for Wicklow
New head coach named
WICKLOW RFC have announced their new senior men’s coaching team for next season and the news is fairly epic.
Head coach will be George Naoupu, a native of New Zealand, who played last season in the English Premiership with Harlequins.
Prior to that, he spent several seasons with Connacht, where he made 102 appearances and lifted the Guinness Pro12 title in his last season with the province.
George has been capped for New Zealand at schools, under-19s and sevens level.
He plays back row/second row. He will bring an absolute wealth of leadership and experience both on and off the field. George’s wife Sene has been capped for Ireland and has recently been named in the Irish Womens squad for the upcoming Rugby World Cup.
Backs coach will be Billy Ngawini. Billy is also a native of New Zealand and was head coach of Blackrock RFC last season.
Prior to that, Billy spent several years playing in Italy with Rogivo and as a naturalised Italian, has played for the Italian Sevens team.
He also spent four years playing Rugby League in the NRL in Australia/NZ for the Canterbury Bulldogs and Gold Coast Titans. Billy has played rugby at the highest level and will bring a wealth of talent and experience to Wicklow.
They will be ably supported by strength and conditioning coach Gary Jameson, and experienced physiotherapy and management teams.
“We gave a commitment to our players at the end of last season that we would do our utmost to ensure a quality coaching set up for next season in Division 1A,” said Club President Bert Nicholson.
“This is a special group of players who have won a Provincial Towns Cup and Leinster League Division 1B in the last two seasons and they deserve the best.
“It is a testament to all the work that has been done in the club over the last 10 years and more, that we can attract ambitious player coaches of this calibre.
“We have a lot to look forward to in the coming season with Saturday rugby and the exciting challenge of playing in Division 1A, the top division in Leinster Junior Rugby,” he added.
Pre-season training continues on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7.30pm and the club are always looking for new and former players to join the J1 and J2 squads.
If you are interested in getting involved, drop up to training some evening, send a message to the club on Facebook or contact 087 2051659.
New Wicklow RFC head coach George Naoupu, above, centre, in action for Connacht, is tackled by Tom Penny, left, and Dan Temm, of Newcastle Falcons during their European Rugby Challenge Cup clash.