After one of the most successful coaching runs in BC rugby history, James Bay Athletic Association Head Rugby Coach Peter Rushton is calling it a day. Over a 14-year span Pete’s Premier side reached the BC Final and incredible 7 times, winning 5 Rounsfell Cups – emblematic of BC Rugby Supremacy – as well as winning the inaugural National Club Championship title in Edmonton. Pete will pass the torch to a World Class coaching team lead by recently retired 7’s and 15’s star Sean White as head coach, National Champion BC Bears coach Tony Healy as a forwards coach, National U20 Head Coach Jeff Williams as skills coach and former Great Britain Students Rugby League Captain Blake Mahovic as attack coach.
JBAA is taking some bold steps as all clubs struggle to adapt to the changing landscape of professionalism in North America and the ever-shifting dynamics of Rugby Canada. “Peter has been an awesome leader for our club for close to 15 years, but we are pleased he will continue on as part of our executive and we are very excited about the coaching team we have assembled” said John de Goede, JBAA President. “A club focus is on a non-compromising, wide open, hard style of rugby and we think our new crop of coaches is perfectly suited to lead us to continued success in the new era” continued de Goede.
About the Coaches:
Head Coach Sean White: Sean grew up a Bay watching his father Tim play, went on to receive 27 caps for 15’s and was a member of the 2011 Rugby World Cup team. He also accumulated 32 7s Caps, and was a member of both Pan Am Games Gold Medal teams of 2011 and 2015 as well as a member of the 2014 Commonwealth Games team that travelled to Glasgow. Sean’s coaching philosophy mirrors his play – fast paced, expansive, innovative and straight ahead.
Forwards Coach Tony Healy: Tony played his club rugby with JBAA before being capped 15 times in the 2nd row and playing professionally in France for seven seasons. Known for his hard-nosed play and dedicated trench work, Tony will bring the same attitude back to JBAA. He also recently coached the BC Bears to a very successful, undefeated National CRC title and is well respected as a player’s coach who gets the best out of his troops.
Skills Coach Jeff Williams: Long time JBAA player, Jeff played both 7’s and 15’s for Canada and has been integral to the successes of Shawnigan Lake School in recent BC high School rugby championships. As the current U20 National Coach, he is on top of all recent trends and rugby developments and will bring a cutting edge skill development package to the JBAA coaching squad.
Attack Coach Blake Mahovic: Blake was recently the successful head coach of the Squamish Axemen and will step into a role as a playing coach with JBAA. His focus will be on attack and he will bring fresh ideas and perspective from his rugby league background where he captained the Great Britain students on a tour of South Africa.