03 Jun Southwell named UC Vikings Head Coach
The University of Canberra (UC) Vikings will have a new coaching panel this year with popular 2015 John I Dent Cup winning-coach Wayne Southwell of Canberra Royals taking over as Head Coach, while Queanbeyan’s Adam Fahey and Tuggeranong’s Tim Sampson will join the ranks as assistant coaches.
Former Wallaby, Dan Palmer, will return as the side’s Scrum Coach, while inaugural UC Vikings Head Coach Dan McKellar will maintain his position as Coaching Director.
After leading the Canberra Royals to the club’s first John I Dent Cup premiership in 24 years last year, Southwell coached the ACT Griffins. The Griffins finished their 2015 campaign with four wins from four starts, racking up 252 points for and just 75 against, in a very impressive representative season.
Southwell was appointed Royals Head Coach in October 2014 following his retirement as a Deputy Principal of a comprehensive high school in Goulburn. During his time as Deputy Principal he also held the position of Head Coach with Queanbeyan Rugby Club (2009-2012).
Along with the head coaching role at the Whites, Southwell was assistant first grade coach in 2006 to 2008. Southwell was part of Queanbeyan’s successful runs to John I Dent Cup premierships in 2007, 2008 and 2010.
In 2013, he took leave from work to pursue a long time desire to coach overseas where he was appointed Head Coach and Director of Rugby with Saints Rugby Club in Calgary, Canada for two seasons. He led the Saints Division One team to the finals playoffs in 2014. A firm believer in building pathways to elite rugby, Southwell helped to develop a junior pathway program for Saints, and in doing so the club was able to register an U18 side, which it had been unable to field in the past.
A much-respected figure within ACT Rugby ranks, Southwell says he is thrilled to have secured the UC Vikings Head Coaching role for 2016.
“It’s a huge honour,” Southwell said.
“It’s definitely a step up and a challenge we are all looking forward to. I’m very happy with the coaching team that will support myself and the squad this year and can’t wait to begin the campaign.
“We’ve got players in our local competition and contracted Brumbies players who are already on their way to achieving great things in Rugby and we want to help them as much as possible through this program.”
Queanbeyan’s Adam Fahey was an assistant to Southwell in the Griffins program in 2015 and says he’s looking forward to stepping into his new role alongside Tim Sampson as Southwell’s assistants.
“Working with Wayne last year and coaching against him in the John I Dent Cup, I have a lot of respect for the way he goes about his business,” Fahey said.
“I think it will be great not only for the UC Vikings but for the John I Dent Cup to have coaches from a range of clubs working together to hopefully bring home the NRC title this year.”
Sampson, who is in his first season with the Tuggeranong Vikings, is looking forward to working with his John I Dent Cup counterparts.
“It will be a step up for all of us but we’ve got some great leadership in Dan McKellar who will oversee the program and we are all confident of a strong season,” Sampson said.
“I have a lot of respect for the NRC and the way in which it is supporting players coming through the ranks of Australian Rugby, so I’m very proud to be a part of it with the UC Vikings.”
University of Canberra Vikings 2016 Coaching Staff
Head Coach – Wayne Southwell (Royals)
Assistant Coach (Backs) – Tim Sampson (Tuggeranong)
Assistant Coach (Forwards) – Adam Fahey (Queanbeyan)
Scrum Coach – Dan Palmer
Coaching Director – Dan McKellar