Wicklow RFC Senior Men’s Team Coaching Staff

Wicklow RFC are delighted to announce their exciting new coaching line up for the 2020/21 season. Head Coach will be Dan Van Zyl, Forwards coach and player coach will be Paddy Thornton and skills coach will be former club captain Wes Wojnar.

They will be adding more names to a strong coaching and management team for the J1s and J2s in the coming weeks.

Dan van Zyl started coaching in Ireland in 2002 after a very successful playing career where he represented South Africa between 1997 and 2000. Dans teams included the Bulls and Stormers in Super rugby before playing for Bristol in the English premiership. Dan captained the Springbok midweek team in the Currie Cup, played against the 1997 British and Irish Lions and represented the South African Barbarians as well as playing against the Barbarians at the Millennium stadium in 2000. Dans coaching experience is second to none. He started his coaching career as player coach for County Carlow in AIL division 1 and had coaching stints with Clontarf, Dundalk, Old Wesley and most recently Naas. He has a strong track record of winning trophies and getting teams promoted. He has also coached at Provincial and International age grade level where he was assistant coach of Leinster u19’s, coached the Leinster Youths for a 10 year period both as head and assistant coach, was head coach of the Leinster ladies, coached the Irish youths and Irish Student sides and is now Director of Rugby Academy Ireland. Dan worked for the Leinster Branch as a Coach Development officer for 11 years and currently coaches the Kings Hospital School team.

Forwards coach and player coach will be Paddy Thornton from Rathfarnham. Paddy played all of his rugby in Terenure College school and rugby club. Paddy is an outstanding back row forward and has been capped for Ireland U18 Schools, Leinster U18s,U19s and U20s, Ireland Colleges. Last season he captained Terenures first team in the AIL and also captained their J1s and U20s.Paddy has several years coaching experience under his belt. He worked as Club/Community Rugby Officer with Leinster Rugby and Terenure RFC for two years. He is currently teaching and coaching rugby in Terenure College. Paddy is excited to be joining Wicklow and is looking forward to an exciting season.“I can’t thank Terenure RFC enough for all the memories, opportunities and support they have given me but I am massively excited to join a very ambitious Wicklow RFC. The prospect of combining my two loves of playing and coaching, embracing a new challenge and meeting loads of new people along the way is more than enough motivation for me. I look forward to seeing you all in Ashtown Lane this year”

Joining Dan and Paddy will be Wes Wojnar. Wes has been a part of Wicklow RFC for many years. His name is etched into WRFC folklore as the captain of the first Wicklow team to win the Provincial Towns Cup in 2016. Wes is thrilled to be starting his coaching career in a club that means so much to him. He is looking forward to working with Dan and Paddy and the fantastic crop of young players coming through.With a superb new gym extension nearing completion, the facilities in Wicklow RFC will be literally second to none. Despite these uncertain times the future is looking very exciting for the club as the Womens team prepare to kick off in the AIL for the first time and the men look for a quick return to Leinster League Div 1A. Details of pre-season and the playing season timings will be dependent on the lifting of lockdown restrictions. Wicklow are always looking for players to join the squad, if you are interested contact Director of Rugby Jason Watson on 086 8543089 or Brian Clarke on 087 6887839