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Rory Best lands MLR role with the Seattle Seawolves

By Ian Cameron
(Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Former Ireland hooker Rory Best is back in professional rugby after being revealed by the Seattle Seawolves as their new technical coach.

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In a major recruitment move by the side, Best will work alongside former Ospreys head coach Allen Clarke and Pate Tuilevuka, who takes over as interim head coach, switching from his previous role as Director of Rugby.

The Seawolves said in a statement: “In addition to the changes with current staff, the Seawolves have added further support to the coaching team in Allen Clarke and Rory Best, bringing vast experience to bolster Seattle’s technical and high-performance skills. Clarke and Best will be with Seattle through the remainder of the 2021 season, helping direct the current campaign and laying the groundwork for the future development of the club.”

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Best retired at the end of 2019 after returning from the Rugby World Cup in Japan. The signing of the 38-year-old is a major statement of intent from Seattle Seawolves and an adventurous first foray into professional coaching for Best. According to the MLR side, Best “joins the Seawolves coaching staff to help build elite player skills and capabilities.”

Best earned 124 Ireland caps and toured twice with the British and Irish Lions side in 2013 and 2017. Many had expected the veteran Ulster hooker to return to farming on a permanent basis, but he’s clearly been lured by the exciting potential of the start-up American league.

Clarke meanwhile had already been involved in the MLR, having joined the Dallas Jackals as Director of Rugby. However, Dallas opted out of the 2021 season, so Clarke has made himself available as a technical coach to the Seawolves.

Clarke’s most recent European gig had been at the Ospreys, who he joined in 2017, initially as forwards coach and then as head coach. A poor start to the 2019 season saw Clarke sacked mid-season from the PRO14 franchise.

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Clarke was capped eight times as a hooker for Ireland and won the 1999 Heineken Cup with his club side Ulster; the first European title for an Irish side.

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Shaylen 8 hours ago
Brumbies the best team in Australia but still nothing to show for it

The Brumbies have been the strongest side in Australia for a long time and that was down to their forwards and set piece which has always been good and has always been able to dominate their Australian counterparts. This year the lack of maul tries and also the lack of a stable scrum has been a real problem which was also something Nick alluded to in his article this week about the creaking brumbies tight five. Home advantage is key as you say and the Brumbies must find a way to score more bonus points. If the Brumbies are really serious about winning a title they need to do what Kiwi sides at the top do. They need to smash every Aus side with a bonus point at home while claiming losing bonus points in every game they lose and denying their rivals bonus points. In their 3 losses in NZ this year they were smashed. They only scored 60 tries which is middle of the road, their scrum came in at 73% which was one of the worst in the comp, tackle success at just 83% which was right at the bottom and in terms of metres, clean breaks, carries, offloads and rucks built they were in the middle plus they had the most yellows. They basically were just not dominant enough wile they can improve their discipline. They excelled at kicking and won plenty of lineout ball plus their rucks were secure at 97%. Not sure about turnovers but they weren’t bad there. They just need to be more clinical and give away less and they will give themselves the best chance to win the title.

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