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‘I Know The Huge Potential This Group Has’ – Navan’s New Coach Harris-Wright

‘I Know The Huge Potential This Group Has’ – Navan’s New Coach Harris-Wright

The Navan forwards huddle together during an Energia All-Ireland League match at Balreask Old ©Arosha D Photography

Former Leinster and Connacht hooker Jason Harris-Wright has stepped up as head coach of the Navan senior team for the 2023/24 season.

Harris-Wright has been involved as an assistant coach, looking after the forwards and the breakdown, with both the Castleknock College Senior Cup team and the Navan Men’s side for the last two seasons.

Navan finished sixth in Energia All-Ireland League Men’s Division 2A in 2022/23, having earned their third consecutive promotion in 2019. Ray Moloney, who was in charge for the last five years, has moved on to coach Cashel.

Harris-Wright’s professional playing career began with his native Leinster in 2009, moving from the Academy up to a full contract in 2010/11. His 17 appearances included one off the bench during the 2011 Heineken Cup final win over Northampton Saints.

The 34-year-old also played for Bristol Bears (2011-2012 and 2017-2018), Connacht (2012-2016) and London Irish (2016-2017), before a year with the Houston Sabrecats in Major League Rugby turned into coaching for the season Stateside.

Speaking about Moloney’s successor as head coach at Balreask Old, Damien Dixon, Navan RFC’s incoming club President, commented: “We are thrilled to have someone of Jason’s experience in the game moving into the senior head coach role.

“As a club we are proud of our tradition of brining through talented players from our successful youths rugby structure into senior Adult rugby. With the pathways for this coming into place, the future looks bright.”

Harris-Wright, the ex-Ireland Under-19 and Under-20 international, said: “I am delighted to be starting the new season as the senior head coach. I’ve worked closely with a large number of the current squad over the last couple of years and I know the huge potential that the group has.

“I am extremely excited by the new challenge that lies ahead for us as a group, and I’m really looking forward to getting started with our pre-season.”

Navan travel to Ballymena for their opening Division 2A fixture on Saturday, October 7. Before that they will be in Leinster Senior League action, beginning on Saturday, August 26 with a trip to Naas.