From Junior World Trophy Rugby To Ivy League

From Junior World Trophy Rugby To Ivy League

I am in the middle of a couple of ridiculous weeks of travelling for me and I am getting used to airplane food and films.

I was in Connecticut for a while before flying back home to California. I am off to a wedding in Ireland soon and from there, will go to a new post in New Hampshire before flying off to Argentina for a short while.

More on that at a later date.

Things are going beyond my wildest dreams from a personal perspective and for the sport of rugby in America.

The aftermath of our Under-20s victory in a thrilling final of the Junior World Trophy in Salt Lake City was a bit of a blur and, it was such an emotional ending to that game, that I struggled to watch it back because I would be forced to live through all of that again.

I have so many things to tell you about since then but let me start by explaining my new role at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire.

The venture will see me begin a new and very exciting chapter in my continued growth as a coach with one of the illustrious Ivy League schools over here.

The school has its own dedicated rugby clubhouse and has had an excellent rugby programme over the last 10 years or so.

The vacancy has come up because their full-time head coach Alex Magleby has moved into the national team’s 7s set-up with one eye already on the Rio Olympics in 2016. Believe me, America will take that format very seriously indeed.

Dartmouth asked me to step in for a while and I am going there, initially from August to October to see how it goes.

I have had plenty of jibes already that I will come back donning a leather briefcase and tank-top.

During that time, we will play the Ivy League tournament against the likes of Yale and Harvard. Following that, there is the National Collegiate League 7s tournament which Dartmouth have won twice.

And after that, they move into the AA Season playing against the best rugby-playing universities in the country like Brigham Young, the University of Arkansas and California Berkeley.

There is a lot to fit in and I am really looking forward to settling there and getting to grips with what will be a very challenging position.

I’ll miss Jess though – and the Californian weather too. I have already sat in my house on several occasions questioning my sanity at choosing to swap never-ending sunshine for a climate that can, at times, be like living back in Ireland or England!

Read more Living Rugby blogs.

Read more about Gavin Hickie at Lineout Coach and follow Gavin Hickie on Twitter.


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