Buccaneers RFC have announced the appointment of Christian Short as the club’s new head coach, as the Pirates prepare for an immediate bid to return to Ulster Bank League Division 1A next year.
Christian Short returns to the midlands club he played for as lock in 2003 to 2005, during which time they won a Connacht Senior League and Cup double. Recently retired after 15 years as a professional rugby player, his playing career included spells at Connacht, Northampton Saints and French clubs Brive and Lyon.
Short became player-coach with CS Vienne near Lyon in the French Federale 1 in 2014, at the same time as creating his business Indoor45. He is no stranger to gaining promotion, as a player winning the Championship in England with Northampton Saints, the ProD2 with Lyon, and more recently as player-coach with Vienne back into Federale 1.
With over 300 games played during his career, his passion started off at an early age at Gosforth RFC where his father John played. The simple values of rugby have been deeply ingrained in him.
As a player, the 38-year-old has always had an interest in coaching, initially at Ballinasloe in 2004-2006 and then Old Scouts in the English midlands before having coaching roles at Brive, Lyon and Vienne. He brings a wealth of experience, both on and off the pitch, to the Athlone club, who are looking to bounce back from their relegation earlier this month from the Ulster Bank League’s top flight.
Short is a great believer in hard work with strong interpersonal skills and will work closely with the Pirates Seconds and Under-20 squads. He will place a strong emphasis on developing and promoting players within the club as Buccs look to earn their place back in Division 1A.
Meanwhile, the Athlone club has thanked departing coaches Darin Claasen and Mike McCarthy for their input and contribution this season and wish them every success in the future. The pair replaced another former Connacht player, Brett Wilkinson, last summer. Wilkinson, who guided Buccs to the Division 1B title, left the position to take up a coaching role in Hong Kong.