Bond University Rugby Club (BURC) has bolstered its stable of high-calibre coaching staff with the appointment of Geoff Townsend to head up the Club’s Colts program in 2017.
Townsend has more than 15 years’ experience as a professional rugby coach, most recently as Head Coach with NSW Premiership side, Gordon Rugby Union Club, a role he had held since 2014.
Prior to that he was Head Coach with the North Harbour Rays, where many of his club players went on to compete in the NRC and 15 were rewarded with professional contracts in Australia and abroad.
Townsend brings considerable Super Rugby experience to Bond, having spent four seasons coaching with the Western Force, initially as Academy Coach in 2007 before being promoted to Assistant Coach in 2009.
During his time with Western Force he was responsible for the creation and development of a highly successful Academy Program which introduced a number of players to Super Rugby and grew the Western Force Academy into a successful breeding ground for Super Rugby players.
Earlier in his coaching career, Townsend coached both Manly and Southern Districts 1st Grade sides and a number of Japanese clubs, as well as spending three undefeated seasons as coach of NSW Under 19s. He is also no stranger to University club rugby, having worked as Consultant Coach to Sydney University Rugby Union and Japan’s Teikyo University.
Townsend replaces another high-profile, former NRC coach Brad Harris as Premier Colts Coach, with Harris moving abroad to take up an international rugby position as Assistant Coach of reigning European Nations Cup champions, the Georgian National Team.
Bond University’s Director of Rugby and Premier Grade Head Coach, Sean Hedger, said he was thrilled to secure the services of Townsend for the club.
“Geoff is a respected top-grade coach with considerable super rugby experience and a strong background in the mentoring and development of young players,” Hedger said.
“I am very excited about what Geoff will bring to Bond Rugby, in particular the Premier Colts team, who last season finished runners up and are looking to finish on top in 2017.”
Townsend said a move north had been on the cards for him and his family for some time, and that he was very much looking forward to joining the Bond University Rugby Club.
“There are a lot of very good rugby players and coaches here at Bond, and the club is incredibly well resourced and supported by the University,” he said.
“The players have access to great facilities, including the new Sports Centre and Olympic-sized pool, which would be the envy of most Super Rugby clubs, let alone Premiership side teams.”
Townsend said the greatest reward of coaching for him was the development of young players who had gone onto play at national and international levels.
“I really do get a big kick out of coaching; being able to influence the lives of young players and help them achieve their dreams, whether that be at club level, in the NRC or representing their country.”
Hedger also confirmed that Grant Anderson would continue in his role of Assistant Coach to the Premier Grade Bond rugby team in the coming season.
Anderson, the MD of local not-for-profit The Rugby Academy, has a long association with the BURC, having been a foundation player of the Gold Coast Breakers Rugby Club and involved in coaching Breakers Colts since 2011 and Bond Rugby as of last year.
During this time he coached Bond’s Premier Colts team to three consecutive grand finals, and also has acted as an Assistant coach with TSS 1st XV.
Anderson said what he was most looking forward to in 2017 was success.
“Our Premier Grade side is a great team with incredible potential, and I’m looking forward to maximising that potential and turning it into real success this coming season,” he said.
“A lot of our current players I trained years ago as Colts – I know them, how they play, what motivates them and most importantly what they’re capable of - so I’m very much looking forward to working with them and Sean to create a highly successful team.”
Hedger believes that the calibre of his coaches, combined with the resources and facilities on offer to the club, will help drive player recruitment across all four Bond rugby teams in the coming weeks.
“Bond has the talent, the facilities, the coaching expertise and the support we need for players to build their national and international rugby careers right here on the Gold Coast,” he said.
Hedger said Bond rugby was also on the hunt for a Coach for their Colts 1 team.
Bond Rugby kicked off its Pre Season training on the weekend with a beach session at North Burleigh. Training will continue each Tuesday and Thursday at Bond University Rugby Field from 6:00pm.
Players (and coaches) interested in joining BURC should contact Sean Hedger on [email protected]