Gavin Hickie (USA U-20s forwards' coach, Dartmouth College NH)

The Americans Are Coming

The Americans Are Coming

"America is often called the Sleeping Giant of rugby"

Gavin Hickie gives an update on the state of rugby in the USA, from the perspective of a coach, as the Eagles qualify for RWC 2015.

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A Very Personal Preseason

A Very Personal Preseason

There's a saying in the States 'the Freshman 15' which refers to the weight most college students gain during their first year

Gavin Hickie talks about the regime he has had to put himself on as the rugby coach at Dartmouth College.

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Whistle stop tour

Whistle stop tour

"I have two coaching jobs – Dartmouth and USA U20s – so I don’t have a typical week"

USA U20 Forwards coach and Dartmouth College coach Gavin Hickie blogs about what has been an exceptional period , even for him.

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Player Profile

Gavin Hickie (USA U-20s forwards' coach, Dartmouth College NH)

Gavin Hickie

USA Rugby: Under 20s Forwards Coach
Club: Dartmouth College (New Hampshire).
Position: Head Coach Belmont Varsity Rugby / Forwards Coach Belmont Men's Team.
Height: 5'10"
Weight: 86.5 Kgs
Years in the professional game: 10 – Leinster/London Irish/Worcester/Leicester Tigers/ Belmont Shore


What is your dream position on the field?

I would always liked to have played at 12. I like the idea of crashing the ball up and sucking in defenders. 12 can be badly exposed in D but its a great position.

Who is the hardest bloke you have ever played with?

There are a lot! Trevor Brennan was a hard player. Julian White and Lewis Moody are hard as nails too!

Was your professional debut memorable or forgettable?

It was very memorable! It was 2001 and I had just signed a full-time professional contract with my home team, Leinster. The Celtic League was formed and we had a great squad of players. My first game was against Ebbw Vale in Donnybrook, Dublin. We played very well and won comfortably. We went on to win the Celtic League in the first year of the competition's existence. I feel very privileged to be part of Leinster's rich history.

What are your redeeming features - physical?

Haha – My face….obviously!!!

What are your redeeming traits - personality?

I'm pretty tenacious. I don't like to be told that something is too difficult or not possible. Everything is surmountable and I can be very persistent in attaining my goals.

Best moment in rugby?

Signing for Leicester Tigers and pulling on that famous jersey will always be a cherished memory for me. That proved to be the pinnacle of my club career. Tigers will always be dear to me. Winning the Premiership was a massive highlight!

Worst moment in rugby?

My horrendous shoulder injury that I sustained tackling Sale's Jason Robinson. That effectively meant the end of my top level rugby. I totally severed my infraspinatus and my supraspinatus tendons. I learned pretty quickly that these tendons are what connect the muscles that allow you to move your arm up straight in front of you and also out to the side! I was in an airplane cast for 3 months and spent a total of 7 months on the sideline working very hard with Tigers physiotherapist, Scott Tindall. I never really recovered from the injury.

Are you angry or a sulker in defeat?

It depends! If we get beaten by a better team but really gave it our best, I can accept defeat and learn from it. If we play poor rugby and below what we are capable of, I get annoyed. I never sulk after defeat but I do like to be on my own for a while after any game and get my thoughts together.

Which player do you admire most from past/present?

Such a tough question! There are so many guys I have had the good fortune of playing with and against some of the very best rugby players in the world. I have huge respect for every rugby player out there. If I have to pick, I would say, Brian O'Driscoll, Johnny Sexton, Geordan Murphy, Martin Castrogiovanni and Graham Rowntree.

Where was your best rugby-related night out. Just place and venue please?

Has to be Wales! Without doubt – Vale of Glamorgan Hotel with Leinster….


Three things you like?

Southern California lifestyle
Coaching Rugby
Traveling and seeing new places

Three things you hate?

LA Traffic
8 hour time difference from Ireland!

Three things you want?

Rugby to become a mainstream sport in the US, with it's own professional league
Collegiate Rugby to qualify for NCAA accreditation
Touring sides to visit the US on a frequent basis

Three things you regret?

No time for those….

Three things that need doing at home?

Loads of LineoutCoach work which is great!
My Mrs (!)
The laundry

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