University of Canberra Women’s 7s Team Manager and assistant coach, Liam McGrath, has been named to step into the Head Coaching role ahead of Aon Uni 7s Series.
McGrath will also coach a development side who will play in the Sydney Club 7s starting in April.
This is McGrath’s first head coaching position and brings a wealth of experience to the role. He has won a total of three premierships as a player with the Tuggeranong Vikings and the University of Otago in New Zealand, was called into the Brumbies Squad when they played the British and Irish Lions in 2013, and coached the Daramalan College Team, which included current Brumbies players Mac Hansen and Tom Ross, to two grand final appearances.
McGrath said that he was humbled to have been selected from a pool of talented coaches who had applied for the position.
“To get the phone call from [the University of Canberra Director of Sport] Carrie Graf to say I’d got the job was exciting. Now, I’m just anxious to get on the field and in the gym with the team and start building towards the series.”
McGrath’s affiliation with the club as Team Manager and Assistant Coach in 2017 and 2018 means that he is very familiar with the club and some of the players, including last year’s captain, Sammie Wood.
“Having been an assistant and team manager with the program for the first two years the team knows what to expect from me and are familiar with the way I communicate and what they can expect from some of the sessions I’ve run in the past. I think that helps the onboarding process somewhat as well.”
“We’re in year 3 now and we’ve built a really strong core of players who know exactly what to expect from the program and the series.
With the strong group of girls coming through the junior ranks and out of club rugby I think the team is in a really good position to push for top four finishes consistently,” said McGrath.
McGrath intends to have a stripped back approach for the upcoming Aon Uni 7s Tournament which will kick off in September.
“For me Rugby is a pretty simple game. A number of these girls have only been playing rugby for a season or two so, it’s important that everything we do is really clear and concise. We do that by breaking up the key components of the game and focusing on their core skill development,” said McGrath.
“We’ve retained a large percentage of the squad and we’ll call upon those more experienced players to really drive that aspect of our training. There’s a lot of skills that can be worked on individually and before and after training, so will look to give the girls some ownership of that”.
McGrath said that he couldn’t give too much away but that among the new names and faces there’ll be plenty that will be recognisable from the previous two years.
McGrath will lead the development squad for their first tournament in Sydney on the 28th of April and aims to use this as a platform for local players to break into the Aon Uni 7s Squad beginning in September.