Shortlist for St Joseph’s College director of rugby position is down to final six
St Joseph’s College hope to have their new director of rugby in place before the end of January.
Director of sport Mark Patterson revealed to me that interviews with six applicants are due to take place in a fortnight’s time as the college looks for a replacement for South African Peter Engledow, who has been appointed as development coach for Griquas in his home country.
“We had 28 applicants which was fantastic and it was difficult to narrow down a very strong field to six people,” said Patterson, who revealed an announcement should be made on January 23.
“All the people that have been shortlisted are current directors of rugby in their schools and are level 3 rugby coaches.
“They are also all involved at divisional level or above in terms of regional selection.
“We have had quite a good geographical mix and will be interviewing two people from the north, two from the south, one from Ireland and one from the Midlands.
“That gives us a good gauge as to where the college stands in terms of its rugby reputation.”
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He added: “Most people would say that the applicants shortlisted are coming from bigger schools and that is a good reflection on the current strength of our own rugby.”
The successful applicant starts their new role in pre-season this coming August to replace Engledow, who quit the role last October to take up his new job.
The South African will coach his new charges in next month’s Vodacom Cup, replacing new head coach Hawies Fourie who, due to his involvement in the Super Rugby competition with Cheetahs, will not be involved in the tournament.
Engledow enjoyed a successful spell in Ipswich after moving into the position in June 2012, culminating in the under-18s’ win at the St Jo’s Festival last October.
“It all happened unbelievably quick,” said Patterson.
“For me, if I am being honest, it did not come at the ideal time for myself and the college, but for Peter, it was the chance of a lifetime, and I was not going to stand in his way.
“He was coming up for his third year at St Jo’s and was putting a lot of things in place.
“It has been so easy in the past just to have a top first 15 team but we now have a nice conveyor belt of talent that will come through.
He added: “We might not have the success we achieve last season this year but we will aim to be there or thereabouts and, being a smaller school in terms of numbers playing rugby, aim to punch above our weight.”
St Jo’s’ rugby teams travel to play fixtures against London Oratory this weekend.
“We are only working with around 22 players in each year,” said Patterson.
“London Oratory usually field six under-12 teams, so that’s the nice part of the job, being able to compete with bigger schools.”