UK Armed Forces Rugby Union Announce New Director of Rugby

RAdm Paddy McAlpine CBE, Chair of UK Armed Forces Rugby Union (formally Combined Service Rugby Union), has appointed Maj Ian Wilkins AGC (SPS) as the UKAFRU Director of Rugby. “I am delighted to welcome Ian Wilkins as our new Director of Rugby. He has a truly impressive rugby CV and I am assured that the playing output is very safe hands.  With Ian’s support, we will to continue to gain strength from unity on and off the field and build upon the representational not invitational ethos that defined CS Rugby over the past two seasons and will shape UKAF Rugby as we take it forward together”.

‘Wilkie’ has been involved in ARU and CS rugby in a multitude of roles since 1999.  His earliest involvement was with the Army U20s/21s side where he was influential in the setting up of the Army Rugby Union Academy.  He has held a number of coaching roles from U20s through to the ARU Veterans and included a 3 year stint as DoR of AGC rugby before moving onto the British Army Germany (BAG) DoR role. He has also managed the CS & Army Senior XVs. Discussing his new role, Wilkie said:

“It is a great honour to have been appointed as the 1st Director of UKAF Rugby Union. Service rugby is in an excellent position and more competitive than it has been for many years.  UKAF will bring the very best players and support staff together to deliver 2 exciting matches in November.”

Maj Wilkins has started shaping his team by appointing the senior teams Head Coaches.

Senior Men’s Head Coach - Captain Wayne Burnard REME
‘Burnie’ as he is known played representative rugby in both union and league codes within the Services and national league civilian rugby before injury halted his playing career.  He immediately started his coaching career and has coached Unit, Corps, Army, Combined Services and civilian rugby over the last 10 years.  Burnie is a well respected Level 3 coach who has been highly successful in assisting the REME to win the Army’s Corps Championships and the Inter-Services title on several occasions with the Army. He was also part of the coaching team who won the inaugural International Defence Rugby Competition (IDRC).

Senior Women’s Head Coach – Captain Glyn Barraclough RAMC
Glyn played his rugby in the back division; he played for a number of civilian clubs in the UK at both Union and League and his Services Rugby included Regtl, Corps (RAOC and RLC) and Army Masters. Glyn is a Level Three coach and RFU Coach Educator. He had 3 very successful seasons working with  Wasps Ladies (2003 -06) and 5 years with OA Saints where as Head Coach he helped increase player base and saw the 1st team promoted to the RFU(W) Premiership. Alongside club his military coaching includes RLC (2003 – 2013), Army Academy (2008) and in 2012 was appointed Head Coach Army Ladies.

Article by Di Bird
Image Ian Wilkins