FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — (Washington, DC – May 9, 2019) – The professional rugby team Old Glory DC has announced that internationally experienced coach Andrew Douglas is assisting the team with preparations for its 2019 exhibition season. Old Glory is scheduled to play a five-game exhibition season from May 19 through June 15, in preparation for its entry into Major League Rugby (MLR) in 2020.
Douglas, a New Zealand native hailing from the Waikato province, is a long-time professional coach within the New Zealand schools and Waikato provincial systems. He is also experienced in coaching internationally, having worked overseas in both Europe and Asia, including Italy and Japan. His previous positions have included both assistant coaching and head coaching assignments within the New Zealand Schools, and coaching at various levels within the Waikato Rugby Union, including the Mitre 10 Cup competition and with Super Rugby side, the Chiefs. More recently, he served as head coach of Italy’s Biella Rugby Club, leading them to promotion into Serie A, and as Team Attack and Back coach for the Toyota Shuttles of Japan’s Top League.
Douglas is confident that this background provides a good platform for making a contribution to Old Glory and MLR. “I have been fortunate to work alongside and learn from a variety of experts, and coach some outstanding players throughout my career to date; especially in development programs such as the New Zealand Schools rugby and my work in high performance with the Chiefs and Waikato rugby,” he said. “And I have enjoyed coaching overseas in the last 2 years, adapting to different cultural backgrounds and successfully applying new techniques, practices, and ideas on how rugby can be approached.”
Old Glory owners Paul Sheehy and Chris Dunlavey, as well as the Old Glory board member representing Scottish Rugby, COO Dominic McKay, all agree.
“We found that Andrew is a coach who values organizational culture and the ‘why’ behind everything a team does, just as much as we do,” said Dunlavey. “We are bringing together players from a range of rugby backgrounds under the Old Glory badge and creating the right team spirit, and playing cohesion is key.”
Added Sheehy, “What I Iove most about his background is that he’s an educator as much as a coach. Coaching is teaching. Andrew is committed to those pursuits for all the right reasons. We see the future of the coaching staff for Old Glory including a mix of emerging American coaches with established experts from first-tier rugby nations.”
Dominic McKay added, “This is an exciting phase in the development of Old Glory and the exhibition games will quickly bring the franchise to life and become a team fans can start to support. Over time there could be an opportunity to see some Scottish coaches and perhaps others in the mix, but Andrew Douglas has come highly recommended as an advisor on this initial step forward for the team.”
Old Glory opens its 2019 campaign on May 19 at Catholic University against legendary All-Ireland League (AIL) team Shannon RFC. Challenging international and North American opponents will follow for each of the next four weeks, including the Scotland national Under 20 side, the USA Rugby South Panthers, and the Ontario Blues. Old Glory will finish its exhibition season in Boston on June 15 against another 2020 MLR expansion team, the New England Free Jacks.
About Old Glory DC:
Old Glory DC is a professional rugby club based in Washington, DC that officially joined Major League Rugby in November 2018 and will begin league play in MLR’s 2020 season. The club will play a series of exhibition games throughout the first half of 2019. As a recent addition to the fabric of the nation’s capital and the entire mid-Atlantic community, Old Glory DC’s vision is to grow the sport of rugby in our region by 50% by 2023. The club is owned by Paul Sheehy and Chris Dunlavey, who are proud to bring professional rugby to their home town for the first time ever, and by the Scottish Rugby Union. For more information, visit oldglorydc.com.
About Scottish Rugby:
Scottish Rugby is the governing body for rugby union in Scotland. Our role is to grow the game and inspire Scotland through rugby in line with our values of respect, leadership, achievement, engagement and enjoyment. We are based at Scotland’s largest stadium, BT Murrayfield in Edinburgh and we administer all Scotland’s international rugby teams, the country’s two professional clubs (Edinburgh Rugby and Glasgow Warriors) as well as the domestic fixtures for clubs and schools across Scotland. For more information, visit scottishrugby.org.