BC Rugby Welcomes Former Irish International as Head Coach

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Under New Head Coach, Gabriel Fulcher, the Canadian Direct Insurance BC Bears’ Season includes exhibition matches against England Counties XV and Otago Rugby Union, bookending the 2016 Canadian Rugby Championship

Vancouver, BC – January 5, 2016: BC Rugby has appointed Gabriel Fulcher, who earned 20 International Caps with Ireland, including the quarter-finals at the 1995 Rugby World Cup, as the new Head Coach for the Canadian Direct Insurance BC Bears. Working with BC Bears General Manager, Mike James, Fulcher will oversee the selection of the 2016 BC Bears Team and prepare for the 2016 Canadian Rugby Championship.

The Canadian Direct Insurance BC Bears’ 2016 campaign will kick off on June 3rd in Vancouver with a warm up match against the top players from the English County Championship, followed by four Canadian Rugby Championship fixtures. The domestic competition includes one home game against reigning Champions, the Prairie Wolf Pack, on July 9th in Victoria, plus three away fixtures against the Wolf Pack, Atlantic Rock and Ontario Blues. The summer schedule then wraps up with an exhibition game against Otago Rugby Union (New Zealand) in Burnaby on August 10th.

“It’s a great privilege for me to accept this opportunity to coach the BC Bears,” said Fulcher. “British Columbia has a long standing tradition of playing a quality brand of rugby and producing many top class players in the process. I’m looking forward to adding whatever value I can to that tradition in what promises to be a very exciting time for rugby in the province and beyond.”

Fulcher recently moved to Canada with his family and was quick to get involved in Canadian Rugby, taking up the Premier Head Coach position with UBCOB Ravens. 

Prior to his move abroad, Fulcher held the position of Director of Rugby at St. Mary’s College, Rathmines in Dublin and Senior Head Coach at Belvedere College prior to that. Fulcher has also represented Ireland from the sidelines as the Assistant Coach to the Ireland Schools U18 Boys Team in 2010/11.

“We’re excited for Gabriel to join the BC Rugby Team,” said Annabel Kehoe, CEO of BC Rugby. “We have very clear performance goals for the Canadian Direct Insurance BC Bears and I’m confident in Gabriel being able to deliver a high quality and all-rounded program that achieves both player and team success.”

Senior male players from across the province are all welcomed to attend upcoming training sessions, with the first open session scheduled for 6.30pm this Wednesday, January 6th, at University of Victoria’s Wallace Field. Player performance will be monitored throughout the upcoming club rugby season and at additional training sessions in the weeks ahead.  

“BC players have a real opportunity to seize the moment and put their hands up for selections,” said James. “More than ever before, the Canadian Rugby Championships is the pathway to National selection and we are very excited about the potential we have with our player base.”

2016 Canadian Rugby Championship Schedule:
June 4 — Ontario Blues vs. Atlantic Rock (Toronto)
July 2 — Prairie Wolf Pack vs. BC Bears (Calgary)
July 2 — Atlantic Rock vs. Ontario Blues (St. John’s)
July 9 — BC Bears vs. Prairie Wolf Pack (Victoria)
July 21 — Ontario Blues vs. Prairie Wolf Pack (Toronto)
July 21 — Atlantic Rock vs. BC Bears (St. John’s)
July 24 — Ontario Blues vs. BC Bears (Toronto)
July 24 — Atlantic Rock vs. Prairie Wolf Pack (St. John’s)

Scott Harrigan
Your #1 source for community and amateur sports related news on Vancouver Island, British Columbia and beyond! Send stories to scottharriganisn@gmail.com