One of Australia’s most respected and experienced rugby identities has been appointed as head coach of the Bond University Rugby Club (BURC) starting next season.
Sean Hedger from the Melbourne Rebels Super 15 coaching team has been appointed the club’s new full-time coach.
BURC President Tom Ray said that the demands and expectations on the role had out-stripped its current part-time status and the club’s future prospects dictated the need for a full-time coach.
“While the players in the Queensland Premier competition retain amateur status, the reality is that there is so much required of a coach off field that we decided it was appropriate to engage a full-time head coach,” he said.
Mr Ray said the position will also be responsible for the whole of rugby at Bond which includes overseeing the various rugby programs.
Sean is currently coaching the Melbourne Rising in the new National Rugby Championship (NRC) and describes himself as a ‘values-based coach’.
“I am really excited about Bond’s rugby program and am delighted to have been offered the position,” he said. “The combination of rugby and higher education is a proven winner. This is a unique position on the landscape of Australian club rugby."
“I believe in continuous improvement in not just the players, but also the coaching staff and the club itself. The nature of the position is such that it gives me time to work on the little things off the field too.”
Sean started his coaching career at New South Wales Rugby Union before holding positions as head coach with the Queensland Reds Rugby College and then the Australian Rugby Union in a variety of roles including head coach of the National Academy, U20’s assistant coach and national coach development manager.
In between these positions, Sean also coached in Japan for seven years. In 2013 he was appointed as the attack and backs coach for the Melbourne Rebels and oversaw the Rebels’ improvement in attack during the recent Super 15 season.
Bond University’s Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Tim Brailsford, warmly welcomed Sean to Bond’s rugby community and said the Club was in ‘great shape’.
“The junior colts made the grand final, the premier colts narrowly missed out on a finals berth and the senior team won three of their last four games,” he said. “Sean’s skills, experience and rugby nous will help us take our performance to the next level.”
Professor Brailsford also acknowledged the dedication and hard work of Rob ‘Tiny’ Nowlan as the outgoing coach.
“Tiny has given Sean much to work with and we have the momentum we need building into next season.”
Professor Brailsford said Sean would formally start as head coach on November 3 for the pre-season, but would be implementing an off-season strength and conditioning program over the next few months.