Last night, the club held a community information forum providing an overview of the forthcoming season and giving supporters an opportunity to ask the club’s board any questions and address any of their concerns. The evening was well attended with a mix of members from various facets of the club.

The big question on everyone’s lips was the appointment of a new head coach. Former 1st Grade lock, now Rats’ Director of Rugby, Ben Adams outlined where the board was up to in this regard. “We had an overwhelming response with an incredibly impressive list of applicants…Many of the candidates have outstanding levels of experience at International, Super Rugby, NRC and Shute Shield levels.” Ben said. A number of candidates have been short listed, panel interviews are being finalised and the board is hopeful an announcement can be made by the end of next week.

It appears the 2019 Colts’ program is well underway with newly appointed head coach, Sailosi Tagicakibau hitting the ground running. Sue Barry-Cotter, Director of Colts addressed the audience and was confident the program will capitalise and build upon existing momentum and grow from strength to strength. “Losi has already put an U20s sevens team together and they’re currently training to compete in a number of upcoming tournaments. He has formulated a training plan for the season ahead…both of us will work closely with the new head coach ensuring our plans align and the colts remain an integral part of the club’s overall rugby program” Sue said. She added that 95% of the coaches and managers for the colts’ teams had been finalised, but was awaiting confirmation from NSWRU about the inclusion of a new U18 competition before confirming the colts new line up. A member of the audience, who works for NSWRU, confirmed last night that an U18 competition will be introduced in 2019. Sue said “Warringah will most likely field three colts’ teams plus an U18 side.”

Club President, Phillip Parsons announced Guy Fraser-Hills as Luke Holmes’ successor and the club’s new General Manager. “I am confident Guy will perform extremely well in this role as he brings a diverse range of experience that will only add value to the club,” he said. Phillip also used this forum to quash the murmurs that the club was going through a ‘rebuilding phase’. He made it clear that that the club doesn’t need to rebuild and one of the roles of the board was to manage risk and anticipate potential change. “The fact that Luke (Holmes) and Darren (Coleman) happened to leave the club at the same time was merely a coincidence. We anticipate these things and always have contingencies in place…we’ve found a wonderful replacement for Luke and we’re very close to appointing a new head coach. So this is not rebuilding anything, it is simply getting on with business and improving on what we deliver to our members and the community, and I think we’re doing that reasonably well. “ He said.

Let’s not forget the Rats had an impressive 2018 season. They finished 2nd in the club championship, secured two minor premierships, had six out of eight teams in the finals, three teams progressed to their respective grand finals and one premiership. The next chapter of this club’s journey appears to be a positive one.