Justin Giteau has been named Head Coach of the Monaro Under 23’s side for the 2019 NSW Country Championships, after stepping down from his role with the Tuggeranong Bushrangers.
Although Giteau said it was tough to leave the Bushrangers, he said he believed it was in the best interests of his young family as well as the club.
“Coaching at club level has become an 11 months of the year responsibility,” Giteau said. “I didn’t really have time for that, I have kids growing up and I want to spend more time with them over the offseason rather than dealing with recruitment.”
Giteau enjoyed two successful seasons with the Bushrangers as he helped develop talented youngsters to help the club claim their first ever Minor Premiership.
Giteau said he was excited to coach the squad as training commences this weekend.
“Working with high quality junior rugby league players is one thing that made me interested in the role,” Giteau said. “Most of these kids will have already experienced high quality coaching having come through the Canberra Raiders or equivalent system. So I’m not worried about starting fresh but rather working with them and altering a few things in their game.”
The 2018 Coach of the Year replaces, Ash Barnes who has been named as the Canberra Raiders Under 20’s coach.
John Hawke has been named as coach of the Monaro Colts Women’s side, as Country Rugby League have included an open aged women’s tackle competition in the Country Championships for the first time. The former Belconnen United Scholars Premiership winning coach will be assisted by Josh Hardy, who led the Yass Magpies to the Minor Premiership in this year’s Katrina Fanning Shield.
In addition to this, Brenden Bradley and Jason Kelly will coach the Monaro Under 16 and Under 18 sides respectively for the second edition of the Andrew Johns and Laurie Daley Cups.
The Under 16 and Under 18 sides will commence their season on Saturday 16th February. The Under 23 and Women’s sides start their respective campaigns on Sunday 10th March.