Rugby United New York Names New Team Manager
NEW YORK (August 23, 2019)- Rugby United New York is excited to announce the signing of Team Manager and Assistant Coach Simon Gillespie. Gillespie has been a rugby coach for the last ten years for teams in both Ireland and the United States.
Gillespie has primarily been involved with the Gaelic Athletic Administration where he has focused his coaching efforts on Gaelic football. He began his playing career for the local clubs Aodh Ruadh and Ballyshannon RFC in County Donegal, Ireland. Inspired by the dedicated coaches and staff that trained him as a youth, he began coaching his hometown team Aodh Ruadh. Later on, he would coach in Ulster GAA organization and most recently, with the New York GAA from 2010-2019.
Gillespie will be the Team Manager for the 2020 Major League Rugby season in addition to acting as the team’s Skills Coach. The Irishman will also lead the RUNY grassroots program as the Academy Director. Managing logistics, identifying up and coming talent, as well as creating new rugby programs in local communities are among the duties that Gillespie will be performing.
“Simon is a highly skilled and experience coach, with an impressive resume in sports development in New York,” stated James English, General Manager, RUNY. “He brings a wealth of knowledge and a fresh perspective that will be a great asset to use as we look to support and further promote rugby in the Tri-State area.”
“Being part of RUNY is to be part of something historic,” added Gillespie. “It is my vision to be part of a Major League Rugby Championship winning team in 2020.”
The 2020 Major League Rugby season is set to kick off this February. Rugby United New York are placed in the Eastern Conference with fellow 2019 playoff-side Toronto Arrows, as well as the NOLA Gold, and expansion franchises New England Free Jacks, Old Glory Washington DC, and Rugby ATL (Atlanta). The Western Conference is headlined by back-to-back champion Seattle Seawolves, back-to-back playoff side San Diego Legion, rounded out with the Glendale Raptors, Utah Warriors, Houston Sabercats, and Austin Elite.
About Rugby United New York
Rugby United New York is a professional rugby team who joined Major League Rugby as an associate member in 2018, playing a brief, but successful exhibition season. Their first full MLR schedule took place in 2019. RUNY’s vision is to bring the excitement of professional rugby to the New York sports landscape. The use of rugby’s core values of teamwork, inclusion, respect and integrity, will help to educate, inspire and connect with the New York Community. Rugby United New York, the city’s first professional rugby franchise, strives to unite the entire rugby community and enrich it at every level throughout the region. The team was founded by James Kennedy of the Murphy Kennedy Group, who is an active supporter of grassroots rugby.
About Major League Rugby
MLR is a professional rugby league that launched in April of 2018. It’s an initiative of the American rugby community, in partnership with private investors, who believe that American rugby can thrive at the highest levels: as a commercial enterprise; as an influential player on the international scene; and as a participation sport at the youth and senior level. MLR is the pinnacle of the American rugby, and provides a rallying point for local communities, a focal point for American rugby fans, and an aspirational destination for young athletes. For more information, visit usmlr.com.
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