Among Ipswich Rangers coaching staff for next season are (from left) Pegg Cup coach Shaun Ward, Colts coach Gordon Murphy and Barber Cup assistant coach Bryan Hudson.
Among Ipswich Rangers coaching staff for next season are (from left) Pegg Cup coach Shaun Ward, Colts coach Gordon Murphy and Barber Cup assistant coach Bryan Hudson. David Nielsen

Ipswich club bolsters coaching stocks

WITH another important pre-season looming, Ipswich Rangers have strengthened their coaching stocks for their 2017 Barber and Pegg Cup rugby campaigns.

Barber Cup head coach Tino Anae starts his second year in charge, happy to see Bryan Hudson, Gordon Murphy and Shaun Ward playing more specialist roles.

National Defence Forces mentor Hudson will work as club backs and attacks coach, with Murphy using his medical background to advantage as strapping and conditioning coach. He'll work with the Colts.

Ward, also with RAAF links, will step into the Pegg Cup head coaching role.

After some positive signs this season, the Woodend-based club is looking to bolster its support for the players.

"We really recruited hard to try and get some experienced coaches and I'm really happy we managed to secure Bryan and there's a couple of other guys who have also come on board,'' Anae said.

"They will really share the workload with everyone else.

"We're recruiting heavily for players so we hope to have a good team next year.''

After the club review, Anae said it was important to have long-term club supporters like Ward involved in coaching.

Rangers start their pre-season on December 6, looking to be better prepared for the start of their season in April.

"It's all about getting the boys fit,'' Anae said.

"Gordon and Bryan have a big camp they want to do, mainly around fitness. Just building on what we did this year.''

After helping out Rangers last season, Hudson is keen to take on a full-time coaching role for next season.

Based at the Amberley Base in recent years, he is current coach of the Australian Combined Services team, having been assistant coach at the previous Defence Forces World Cup in the UK.

Prior to that in Canberra, Hudson was Australian Airforce coach for five years. The Aussie team regularly played New Zealand in international matches.

Now with an official Australian Combined Services coaching role, he has a four-year tenure leading up to the next World Cup.

He's keen to work with Anae, Murphy and Ward at Rangers.

"The big thing for the club is to bring it up to the standard that they deserve,'' Hudson said.

"Over the last couple of years, they haven't been at that point.

"I know Tino has made a lot of inroads into trying to get a coaching team, a coaching staff, to help the club progress.''

Developing fine networks

BEFORE entering coaching, Bryan Hudson played 93 first grade matches as a number 10 or 12 on the Sunshine Coast.

Being involved with the Tuggeranong Vikings rugby club in Canberra and his Australian Defence Forces roles has boosted his interest in coaching."The reason why I went there (Vikings) was they had a lot of pathways to work with - the Brumbies . . . and making that network and contacts,'' Hudson said.

He's coached since 2011 after retiring as a player in 2010. "It's been a bit of a long road to get there,'' Hudson said.

"I stepped into coaching because the airforce didn't have any coaches. So I moved along and did a fair bit of that sort of stuff and I've developed the coaching structure, I suppose, within the airforce.

"It's a good way to stay involved with players, as well as clubs, without having to get out there on a Saturday afternoon.''