Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin

Ex-Wallaby outlines vision for TSS rugby program


FORMER Wallabies hooker Tai McIsaac has returned home to the Gold Coast to take over as director of rugby at The Southport School after a colourful internatio­nal career rubbing shoulders with the brightest names in rugby, on the pitch and in the coaching box.

The 45-year-old gave away profession­al coaching only months ago after guiding Japanese giants Suntory Sungoliath to the Top 14 final as forwards and attack coach.

Working under the supervisio­n of director of rugby, England head coach Eddie Jones, McIsaac coached former Wallabies Sean McMahon and Samu Kerevi and two-time World Player of the Year

winner Beauden Barrett this season.

McIsaac said his decision to trade that for a role closer to home was easy when the role on offer was at The Southport School.

“The main thing that attracted me was I’d coached at the school before when back on holidays from Perth and Japan,” the rugby and water polo dual internatio­nal said.

“I had a close relationsh­ip with Wal (Coach Mike Wallace) and AB (former director of rugby Adrian Blundell) and when I saw the opportunit­y to come home it was always my intention.

“The last 10 months had been really tough because I couldn’t come home due to Covid-19 and those big stints away made it tough to stay in Japan.

“It was really good timing with this job being available.”

McIsaac said he had ticked off what he wanted to achieve in profession­al rugby after 67 Super Rugby matches with the Reds and Western Force and a decade coaching in Japan and Australia.

“I’ve coached high level players and worked with World Cup winning coaches and players, but the ability to develop players from Under-11s and see them develop through to senior rugby is pretty rewarding,” he said.

“Adrian Blundell has created an impressive program over 14 years and over the course of the year I’ll look at little things I can improve on to make sure of the continued success of the program.”

The first change McIsaac plans is to standardis­e terminolog­y across all teams to ease the learning curve as students progress through the program.

TSS travel to Churchie in Brisbane hoping to continue the First XV’s perfect start to the season after beating BGS 71-5 last week.

 ??  ?? Tai McIsaac playing for the Force in 2008.
Tai McIsaac playing for the Force in 2008.
 ??  ?? Tai McIsaac in 2003.
Tai McIsaac in 2003.

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