Ex­cit­ing times for Wick­low

New head coach named

Bray People - - SPORT -

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.

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