FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — (Washington, DC – September 20, 2019) Old Glory DC is thrilled to announce the signing of head coach Andrew Douglas to a 2-year contract that will ensure he leads Old Glory at least through the 2021 Major League Rugby season.
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.
Before coming to the United States to oversee the 2019 Old Glory DC exhibition season, Douglas 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.
Old Glory DC Owners Chris Dunlavey and Paul Sheehy welcomed Andrew Douglas to the team as visiting head coach during the 2019 exhibition season at Catholic University.
Douglas oversaw team development earlier this year, prepping the Old Glory DC squad to take on a 4-game exhibition season from May 19th to June 9th, in preparation for its entry into Major League Rugby (MLR) in 2020. With Douglas at the helm, the team faced Shannon RFC, the National Scotland U20 squad, and two select-sides, all-star teams from Ontario Rugby and USA Rugby South Panthers. The squad saw steady improvement throughout the season, ultimately ending the campaign with a 2-2 record.
Douglas’s well-rounded experience provided a good platform for contributing to Old Glory and MLR. On his hire, Andrew Douglas said, “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. 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 agree.
“We’re committed creating a team that’s not only highly competitive but, above all, embraces and demonstrates the unique values of rugby,” said chairman Chris Dunlavey. “Andrew is the right leader to build that culture.”
“Every part of our head coach hiring process – from our interviews to reference checks and background research – led us to Andrew being the right answer.” Agreed Paul Sheehy.
Andrew Douglas has jumped headfirst into the role to prepare for Old Glory DC’s first inaugural season.
“We are looking forward to getting started and getting into pre-season. We have built a strong squad who are excited about playing for Old Glory,” Andrew Douglas said. “They will be working hard in December and January on strength and conditioning and working on their skill sets. Understanding the type of game we want to play will take time to put in place but I think we have put together a squad with a good mix of youth and experience who can adapt quickly.”
“In 2020 we are looking to create a legacy that will serve Old Glory for many years to come,” Douglas continued. “We will be working hard to put in strong foundations that reflect the values of Old Glory and what the flag stood for. If we can create the right culture where players know what they are playing for and what this club stands for we will succeed on the field.”
About Old Glory DC:
Old Glory DC is a professional rugby team based in Washington, DC that will enter league competition with Major League Rugby (MLR) in February of 2020. Playing its home games at Catholic University’s Cardinal Stadium, Old Glory will compete in MLR’s Eastern Conference against teams from Atlanta, New England, New Orleans, New York, and Toronto, as well as play games against Western Conference teams, Austin, Glendale, Houston, San Diego, Seattle, and Utah. For more information and to join our email list, please visit www.oldglorydc.com
About Major League Rugby:
Major League Rugby (MLR) is a professional rugby league that launched in April of 2018 and will enter its third season in February of 2020. It is an initiative driven by members of the North American rugby community, in partnership with private investors, who believe that North American Rugby can thrive at the highest levels: as an influential entity within international rugby; as a participation sport at the youth & senior levels; and as a commercial enterprise. MLR is the pinnacle of 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 https://www.majorleague.rugby