Head coach Brett Wilkinson is leaving Buccaneers RFC to take up an international coaching position with the Hong Kong national squad currently competing in the Asian Championship.
Wilkinson, who has been head coach at Buccaneers for the past two seasons, takes up his new appointment next month. The South African played 183 times for Connacht and won six Ireland 'A' caps.
A renowned front row forward, he enjoyed terrific success in his maiden senior club coaching appointment at Buccs, guiding them to the Ulster Bank League play-offs in his first season in charge as well as winning the Connacht Senior League title.
The Pirates did even better last term, completing a Connacht Senior Cup and League double as well as romping to the Division 1B title and with it promotion to the top flight of club rugby in Ireland. Those achievements saw Wilkinson earn the Connacht Rugby Coach of the Year award.
The 33-year-old was an extremely popular and efficient coach with the Athlone club where he encouraged his youthful squad to play enterprising and expansive rugby whilst espousing discipline and work-rate. He is assisting the midlanders in their search for a suitable replacement as they prepare for Division 1A.
Meanwhile, everyone at Buccaneers RFC thanks Brett for his input and influence over the past two seasons and he and his wife Patrice are wished every success as they take on new challenges.