Australian Jarrett Truscott has been announced as the new head coach of Malone RFC, taking over from Jacques Benade who has left to take up a director of rugby role with Dubai Exiles.
Malone’s new coaches, led by Jarrett Truscott, and the club’s Playing Committee have agreed on a 3-5 year plan to re-establish Malone Rugby Club as a force within Ulster and Irish rugby.
The newly-appointed Truscott, tasked with getting things back on track after the Belfast side’s recent relegation from Ulster Bank League Division 1B, will have forwards coach Paddy Armstrong and assistant coach Mark Taylor alongside him. Conor Farrell is the physio/strength and conditioning coach with Roy Sherman and George Martin the team administrators.
Truscott is currently coaching the Ulster Women’s squad with former Ireland boss Philip Doyle. The Sydney-born coach has been living in Northern Ireland for 14 years, having spent a successful term at Instonians working alongside Clem Boyd and Niall Malone.
Within Ulster Rugby Truscott worked as a Development Officer, coaching the Ulster Under-19 squad. He has also established a very successful photography business in the province.
Along with the experienced Armstrong, who is returning to coaching after taking a sabbatical last year on the back of a successful four-year period at Queen’s University, they will be joined by Taylor who has been responsible for guiding the Malone U-19 players at the club into senior rugby.
Having identified the need to expand the playing squad at Malone, the club has recruited two experienced coaches from Sullivan Upper in Sam McBurney and Laurence Kelly to work closely with the new head coach in developing future 1st XV players.
With friendlies arranged against All-Ireland Junior Cup finalists Bangor on Saturday, August 8 and Ulster Qualifying league One champions Instonians on Saturday, August 15, the new Malone coaching team will have a short window to prepare the players before the start of the Ulster Senior League on Saturday, August 29 and Ulster Bank League Division 2A on Saturday, September 12.
Despite losing several experienced players due to reallocation by Ulster Rugby, there is a consensus amongst the Malone faithful that this is a new beginning. There is a still an experienced spine to the team and they will welcome back long-term injured players including James McAlister, Josh Pentland and Nathan Brown.