The NSW Country Eagles have today confirmed the make up of their coaching and support staff, as well as their captain for season 2017.
It is a largely untouched group that will pull the strings behind the scenes for the Eagles, the only significant change being the appointment of former wallaby Andrew Blades as General Manager of the club. He takes over the role from Peter Playford. Paddy Ryan will again captain the playing group, as they look to go one better than their second place finish to a formidable Perth Spirit outfit last season.
HEAD COACH – Darren Coleman
Little needs to be said of Coleman’s coaching credentials. His stint as head coach of the Eagles has seen them become statistically one of the premier franchises in the competition. Minor premiers last season, Coleman will be keen to take the Eagles one step further in 2017.
He is currently in the middle of an extremely successful first season with NSW Shute Shield side the Warringah Rats, and has previously coached at Eastern Suburbs RUFC, L’Aquila in Italy, and the Toyota Shuttles in Japan.
FORWARDS COACH & GM – Andrew Blades
Blades is one of only a handful of new faces among the Eagles staff this year. The former forwards coach of the Wallabies, Blades will take over both the general manager role vacated by Peter Playford, and the position of the Eagles forwards coach.
He brings a wealth of knowledge to the franchise, from both a business and playing perspective, and is arguably one of the pick ups of the entire NRC season on an administration and coaching level.
ASSISTANT COACH – DEFENCE – Shannon Fraser
The Eagles welcome back assistant defence coach, Shannon Fraser to their setup for 2017.
Fraser, like Coleman, has been with the club since their beginning in 2014 – And is invaluable to the tight defensive structures the Eagles display season upon season.
He currently coaches Randwick’s Shute shield side, and has coached with both Fiji’s national side, and the NSW Waratahs in past years.
ASSISTANT COACH – ATTACK – Dan Parks
Parks returns for his second consecutive season as the brains behind the Eagles attack.
A Scotland national representative, Parks was capped 66 times, and was awarded Scottish player of the World Cup in 2007.
Last season, the Eagles were the most successful attacking side in the competition, running in 46 tries in 9 games.
TEAM MANAGER – Pauli Taumoepeau
One of the fastest growing profiles in Australian Rugby Union circles, Taumoepeau returns for the Eagles as the Team Manager in 2017.
Currently the head coach of the colts at Eastern Suburbs RUFC, he has been touted for higher coaching and management honours in the last twelve months.
CAPTAIN – Paddy Ryan
Paddy Ryan captains the squad for 2017, as he did last season.
The Wallaby and NSW Waratahs representative spoke last year of his love and passion for the Eagles.
Ryan, born and raised in Tamworth is committed to bringing the game back to the bush, and in building the sport from the grassroots level up.
He was one of the Eagles best last season, and will once again be handed the reigns for their campaign this time around.
To see more, head to www.rugby.com.au
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