Rugby Ontario is proud to announce that Darrell Devine has been named the head coach of our Jr. Blues 7s program, and that Brooke Hilditch has been named the head coach of the brand new Jr. Storm 7s program.
Devine Named Head Coach of the Jr. Blues 7s Program
Darrell Devine has a wealth of experience as a rugby coach. The Guelph resident is currently the head coach of Guelph University’s varsity men’s rugby program, as well as the Director of Rugby of the Guelph Redcoats RFC. He was the head coach of the Canadian 7s team at the 2012 FISU 7s World University Championships, the head coach of the Ontario 7s team in 2011, and an assistant coach of the Canadian 7s team at the 2011 Commonwealth Youth Games.
On top of this, Devine has also spent two years as an assistant coach of both the Ontario Blues and U19 Blues provincial rugby teams, and most recently was an assistant coach of this year’s U18 Jr. Blues team, helping to guide the team to a National Championship in Vancouver.
“I am extremely honoured, once again, to be heading up the Ontario 7s program. Any opportunity to work with this province’s pool of very talented athletes is always exciting,” said Devine. “The main focus of the program over the next 12 months will be on player development, as it relates to technical skills, game knowledge, and playing experience.”
Devine will be taking over an established program that has seen its fair share of successes in recent years. Under former head coach Dan Kunanec, the squad has a first-place finish and two second-place finishes at the past three Victoria International Youth Sevens tournaments, a first-place finish at the 2012 New York Sevens tournament, and a third-place finish at the 2013 Las Vegas Invitational Sevens tournament.
The next step for Devine will be the identification of athletes through club and high school competitions this Fall, as he builds his team for November’s New York Sevens tournament.
Hilditch Named Head Coach of the Jr. Storm 7s Program
Like Devine, Brooke Hilditch also boasts a solid resumé as a rugby coach. The Toronto resident coached the Toronto Rugby Union’s U17 7s team to Gold medals at the 2012 Ontario Summer Games and the 2013 Ontario Interbranch Sevens tournament. On top of this, she is the head coach of Boys and Girls 15s programs and Girls 7s program at Erindale Secondary School, and is the Co-President of the Toronto-based Yeomen Lions Rugby Club.
During her playing career, Hilditch captained the National Women’s 7s team in 2007, and has been capped on both the National 15s and 7s teams, as well as the Ontario Storm.
“I’m very excited to be coaching the Jr. Storm 7s program, because there is so much talent in our junior players in this province,” said Hilditch. “I'm looking forward to teaching the game of 7s, and developing future National Level athletes.”
Hilditch will use the Fall months for selection through club and high school competitions, leading into the first Jr. Storm 7s team to compete at the New York Sevens tournament.
“The goal is to create and begin building a High Performance pathway for athletes that are looking to compete in 7s competitions, and potentially represent Canada on the World Circuit,” said Shaun Allen, Rugby Ontario’s High Performance Manager. “We will use what we have learned from the successes of our Jr. Blues 7s program to establish a women’s program that will also look to achieve successes early and often.”
Manager / Assistant Coach Positions Available
The next step for the Jr. Blues and Jr. Storm 7s programs is to bring in manager / assistant coaches for their campaigns. Please click here for job descriptions.