Category Archives: News

Hannah signs with Railway Union

Congratulations to Hannah Johnston who has been signed by Railway Union RFC. Hannah is from Manorhamilton, she is an incredible player and an inspiration for other young girls to follow in her footsteps.

We would like to wish Hannah the very best of luck in Railway Union.

Simon Galvan announced as Forwards/Assistant Coach

Sligo RFC has announced their new Forwards’ / Assistant Coach for the 2021/22 season.  New Zealand native Simon Galvan will need no introduction to Hamilton Park, as he is a former player/Coach and Head Coach with the Club, and his three sons currently play with Sligo RFC at Juvenile and Youth level.

Simon started his coaching career in 1995 whilst completing a Post Graduate Diploma in Sport at Massey University. Part of the course requirement was to coach for the year, and he was given an U14 team at Palmerston North Boys High. At that time, the school’s first fifteen (senior cup) coach was a then unknown Joe Schmidt.

A rugby scholarship to attend and play for UCD in 1995/96 brought Simon to Ireland, where he also coached Catholic University School’s (CUS) Junior and Senior cup teams. At the end of his time in Dublin he made his way to Sligo, where he expected to stay for 6 months, however, after meeting his future wife Noelle, he played two rugby seasons before returning to New Zealand. 

Simon returned six years later to settle in Sligo and, in the interim, had played with various teams at club level in Ireland and New Zealand, as well as at Provincial level in New Zealand, in what was then called the NPC (National Provincial Championship)

Simon was player/coach of Sligo RFC in 2005/06, when they were unfortunate to lose the Connacht Junior League final play off in the final play of the game. After a 3 year break he returned as Head Coach in the 2009/10 season. The 2010/11 season culminated in an historic Connacht Junior league and Cup double and gaining promotion into the All-Ireland League 2B (as it was then divided into 4 divisions).

Whilst coaching the Sligo Senior team, Simon also coached at Sligo Grammar School. He was involved in coaching the Senior Cup team for six years, reaching the Connacht Schools’ Senior Cup final four times and winning it twice and, within the same time frame, coaching the Junior Cup for three years, where they reached the Connacht Schools’ Junior Cup final every year, winning it on one occasion.

In 2014, he handed over the coaching reins to Gavin Foley, but he is looking forward to taking up the mantle once more. He gave great credit to previous coaches and the club committee who have worked very hard to promote Sligo Rugby Club, developing the underage system and then supporting players as they come into the senior team. 

“I am looking forward to the challenge ahead in supporting Josh and being part of the set up, and hopefully making a contribution as the club continues its rise”

The club is very excited to have Simon back coaching. His experience and knowledge will have a huge positive impact on the squad and his side line guidance during matches will prove invaluable.  By adding Simon to the management team, the club believes that they have achieved a very balanced approach to their senior coaching ticket.

Club Seeks Head Coach for Women’s Team

Sligo RFC would like to invite applications for the position of women’s Head Coach for the upcoming 2021/2022 season.

Sligo RFC’s women’s teams have been very successful in the past, however the team lapsed in previous years and the club are now in the process of reviving the senior women’s setup.  With the Connacht initiative of an U21 women’s summer league, it is hoped that these young players will combine with former and new rugby players to revive the senior women’s team.

This is an excellent opportunity to work with motivated, talented, and ambitious local young players in a positive environment. This role is key to ensure the club grows on the foundation of earlier successes and continues the development of women’s rugby.

Responsibilities: The Women’s Head Coach will be responsible for leading the Senior Women’s Rugby Programme within Sligo RFC.

This role includes:

  • Develop and implement a co-ordinated coaching programme for the senior women’s team.
  • Co-ordinate the implementation of the Club’s agreed playing philosophy.
  • Co-ordinate with the Football Committee and Senior Team Management on the recruitment and retention of players and coaches.
  • Report to the Executive Committee on rugby matters and make recommendations on potential improvements and initiatives.
  • Select and prepare the team for competition while also being aware of all administrative procedures regarding player registration and eligibility.
  • To ensure a suitable S & C programme is in place and adhered to.

The qualifications and attributes of the successful applicant can be outlined as follows:

  • Applicants need to have experience at senior club level with the relevant coaching qualifications.
  • An understanding of the running of a Senior Rugby club.
  • An in-depth knowledge and experience of rugby at the higher levels with a view to player recruitment and development.

Applications should be sent to:

Roisin Buckley

Sligo RFC Hon. Secretary

Ireland U20s for Donnacha

Donnacha receives his U18 Irish cap

Congratulations to Sligo RFC’s Donnacha Byrne who has made the Ireland U20s squad. Sligo RFC are delighted for Donnacha, as all his hard work has paid off. Donnacha is one of 6 Connacht players to make the 34 man squad. The U20s Six Nations tournament kicks off on June 19th when Ireland play Scotland at 2pm. Best of luck to Donnacha and all the team, we are very proud of all he has achieved from Grassroots to Green shirt – well done Donnacha, we will all be cheering you on.

CHC welcomed as Club Sponsor

Sligo RFC are delighted to welcome CHC as a commercial supporter and hope that with their support we will have a very successful 21/22 season.

CHC Ireland are contracted to provide search and rescue services to the Irish Coast Guard. They cover the whole of Ireland from 4 bases and many of you will have seen or heard their rescue helicopters overhead. Robert Tatten, General Operations & Accountable Manager for Ireland explains: “The sponsorship is part of CHC Ireland’s ongoing commitment to support sport in local communities to help create better wellbeing for all. There is an inherent message in sports about the importance of physical fitness and positive mental health. CHC Ireland are proud to sponsor a progressive club like Sligo RFC and support our local community and the young people in it”

Bon Voyage Mark Butler

Sligo RFC would like to wish bon voyage and the best of luck to club stalwart Mark Butler.Mark played rugby for Sligo RFC from U16, he went on to play Connacht Schools, as well as with Irish U19s, UL Bohs in Div 1A of AIL and Munster As, before clocking up an incredible 18 years with the Sligo senior team.We would like to thank Mark for his dedication to Sligo RFC and wish him the very best as he starts his new life in Australia.

WANTED: Forwards /Assistant Coach

The Role:

Sligo RFC are looking to appoint an ambitious Forwards Coach/Assistant Coach for the upcoming season. Sligo RFC currently compete in the AIL Division 2B and are currently the Connacht Senior League and Cup holders.

Sligo’s Forwards Coach will work alongside the recently appointed Head Coach to contribute to the planning and delivery of the coaching programme and to provide a positive and successful playing environment. Responsibilities include the organisation of the set piece, developing all forward players’ technical skills and tactical appreciation of the game through high quality coaching and feedback.

Successful applicants will demonstrate excellent organisation and communication skills as well as being able to work well within a team. Coaches will be required to plan and organise various sessions. The coach will be required to plan and organise various sessions. The coach will be expected to attend matchdays as well as training sessions during the week. Travel across the country to away games may be required given our participation in a national competition.

Coaching Skills, Knowledge & Skills;

  • Be qualified to a minimum of Level 2 (stage 4 LTPD) on the IRFU coach development pathway or an equivalent coaching qualification from another rugby union.
  • Strong aptitude for the Set Piece – Scrum, Line Out and Kick Offs
  • Capable of working effectively under direction of the Head Coach.
  • Plan and deliver high-quality player development sessions.
  • Review and reflect upon own coaching performance, and with Sligo Rugby identify an action plan for improvement.
  • Deploy a player-centered approach within the delivery of forward coaching sessions.
  • Demonstrate high-quality observation and feedback skills.
  • Demonstrate high personal standards of performance and conduct whilst working with players.
  • Demonstrate through their coaching, an understanding of IRFU safeguarding requirements & protocols.

The closing date for applications is Friday the 4th of June.

For further information or to apply please send a resume and cover letter to our Secretary on

New Head Coach for 2021 Season Announced

Josh Reeves, Head Coach & Fly Half

Sligo Rugby Club are delighted to announce Josh Reeves as their new Head Coach for the upcoming season. Josh will also join the squad as a player. Reeves, originally from Christchurch, New Zealand hails from Shirley Rugby Club where he played 4 seasons before moving to Brazil with his now wife Ana, in 2014.Josh has been a full-time player and coach within the Brazilian Rugby system since 2015. He has amassed 30 test caps. Milestones include appearances against the Maori All Blacks and the Barbarians. Josh kicked 18 points for Brazil in a famous win against Canada in the Americas Rugby Championship. Josh will continue to be part of the Brazilian national team for there upcoming world cup qualifying campaign.

In recent years, Josh played for the Utah Warriors in the MLR and the Cobras in the inaugural season of the SLAR (Super Liga Americana), a South American professional league. Josh has experience of Irish Rugby under his belt, playing for Wanderers in the AIL while also coaching at St Andrews College in 2011/12.Josh has played and coached in 4 continents, gathering up years of experience on and off the pitch making him ready to coach at Sligo RFC. Director of Football Michael O’ Hehir said ‘We are excited about the arrival of Josh; we feel his experience and enthusiasm for the game of rugby will be of a massive benefit to our Club both on and off the pitch. We look forward to welcoming Josh, his wife Ana and his 4-year-old son Matias to Hamilton Park.’ #SligoRugby


Outgoing Coaching Team Thanked

Sligo Rugby Club would like to thank this year’s outgoing Coaching Team of Head Coach Paddy Pearson, the Forwards’ Coach Jason East, and the Management Team of Ross O’ Boyle, John Kane and Damien Torsney.
S & C by Joe Quinn & Ciaran O’Connor of TAPA and Physiotherapy by Daire O’ Regan.
Thanks to the Development Team duo of Roger Burrows and Jimmy Gavin, who were supported by Physical Therapist Warner Wilders.
A big thanks also to the partners of the above for putting up with them.
In a season that started so promising, with good wins away to Buccaneers and Ballina, and a home victory against Galwegians in the Energia Community Series, there was a great feeling in the camp that they would have been competing for some silverware, had Covid not put a halt to the season.
A special thanks to Paddy Pearson, who will be stepping down from Senior team duties to help develop and mentor the youth players and underage coaches in the club next season.
Paddy has put in a massive shift with the Senior setup. Starting off with helping the Development team win promotion to the Connacht J1A league in 2017 and then moving up to assist the Senior Team with Ross Mannion before taking the reins of the Senior Team in 2019.
The years that have proceeded along with Jason East’s guidance have seen unprecedented success with 2 Connacht Senior Cups and 1 League Cup won, along with our highest ever finish in the Energia AIL 2B League. All of this was done while developing local, youth players and playing a very attractive style of rugby.
Thank you again to everyone mentioned above.