NUIG RFC are delighted to announce their new coaching team for the 2016-17 season.
Former Galwegians captain Jarlath Naughton takes over as Head Coach of the senior XV whilst Bernie Kelly takes the reigns of the U20 XV. Connacht Rugby’s Craig Ronaldson completes the coaching team, bringing with him a vast array of skills and experiences following Connacht’s sensational PRO12 victory last season.JA Naughton1
Speaking about the appointments Chairman of NUIG RFC, Joey Costello said:
“We’re delighted to appoint Ja as our head coach, he excelled as the coach of NUIG RFC U20’s team last season and his vast experience of playing and captaining a senior side in the UBL over the last 10 seasons will bring a wealth of knowledge and insight as we push hard for honours again this year.”
“With Ja taking over the senior XV we needed to find a suitable replacement to coach our U20’s team, a critical cog in our player development process and Bernie brings an unparalleled level of rugby experience to the role. His work as Director of Rugby with Corinthians and as Head Coach of Galwegians, his education background and exceptional coaching qualifications make him an absolutely ideal candidate.”
Versatile outhalf Ronaldson completes the coaching team and the 26 year old professional, who has 39 PRO12 and 12 European caps to his name, will bring a dynamic edge to the youthful College backline.
Tapping into the Universities sizeable player pool is key to the continued success of the rugby club and Jarlath, who has worked as a Rugby Development Officer in NUIG for the past season as well as acting as the strength and conditioning coach for the club, has been keen to point out the opportunities available to young players:
“Playing any sport in third level is a great addition to the university experience and the comradery and teamwork that are involved in rugby place it as one of the best sports to take part in. The rugby club has been growing over the last number of years and the success of the senior XV in the last two seasons has been phenomenal. Back to back promotions and a Curley Cup victory, added to the Intervarsity success in recent years have really put the University back on the rugby map and I’m delighted to be charged with taking the club to the next level. The scale of the task is evident right from the first match (Westport at home in the first round of the Cawley Cup) and competing at the highest level of Junior Rugby in the province is no easy feat but we’ve recruited well and we’re looking forward to getting stuck into the new season.”
NUIG RFC kick off the 2016-17 season at home in Dangan in the quarter final of the Cawley Cup @ 14:30 on Sunday 4th September.


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