The Queensland Reds coaching staff have been finalised ahead of the 2023 Buildcorp Super W season, with head coach Simon Craig joined by two new assistant coaches in Sione Fukofuka and Moses Rauluni.
Both coaches were involved in the recent Rugby World Cup in New Zealand, with Fukofuka in Wallaroos camp as attack coach and Rauluni coaching defence with Fijiana. The duo, both based in Brisbane, will bring plenty of experience to the squad ahead of 2023.
Fukofuka has coached throughout Queensland Rugby’s pathway system at a school level with Canterbury College and Brisbane State High, in Queensland Premier Rugby’s StoreLocal Hospital Cup with both Easts as an assistant coach and most recently as a head coach of Sunnybank, whilst also coaching at a representative level with Queensland Women’s 7s.
“I really enjoyed my time with the Wallaroos this year, culminating at the World Cup, and I am excited to see where Women’s Rugby is headed,” said Fukofuka.
“I’m grateful to the Professional Rugby department at the Reds, as well as Adrian Thompson and Matt Wilkie from Rugby AU, for creating the opportunity to work in Super W and help facilitate growth at a state level.
“I wanted to be involved with the Reds to help develop Super W players further before they reach the international level and help individuals progress further along their development pathway.
“There was a lot of positives to come from the World Cup that can be further developed in Super W and it is great to see a number of very good coaches committed to teams across the competition.
“I’m also looking forward to working with Simon and Moses again having previously coached with them both in club Rugby.”
Moses Rauluni, who played professionally as a scrumhalf with Saracens in England and internationally with Fiji, has also coached at a number of levels within Queensland. Rauluni was head coach of Easts in 2020 when they won the Hospital Cup, whilst he also spent two seasons as defence coach for Queensland Country in the National Rugby Championship (NRC) in 2018 and 2019.
“After coaching Fijiana this year as part of the World Cup campaign, I’m really excited to come home to Brisbane and have the opportunity to continue to coach and develop Women’s Rugby players,” said Rauluni.
“I really like the space that exists within the Women’s game and as athletes, I’ve found that players aren’t afraid to ask questions and they soak up information. They’re not afraid to work hard and learn which is really motivating from a coaching perspective.
“There is a lot of talent coming out of Queensland Premier Rugby into this squad and I’m looking forward to working with both a great group of players and staff and seeing what we can achieve in 2023.”
Alongside both Fukofuka and Rauluni, long serving University of Queensland women’s coach Felicity Goodwin will join the coaching staff as both a development coach and team manager.
“I’m really excited for the season ahead and to have the opportunity to work with some talented athletes and coaches and learn as much as I can,” said Goodwin.
“I hope that I can take what I learn back to the Queensland Premier Rugby Women’s competition and continue to strengthen the club competition in Queensland.
“While developing as a coach I look forward to assisting with the player’s continued development, getting to know the squad of players and of course play in front of some big crowds at Suncorp Stadium.
“Having played the game, I’m really enjoying giving back to the next generation of players and those who have supported me along the way including UQ Rugby, my Mum and Erin Morton.
“It’s an exciting time to be involved in Women’s Rugby, it forms one of the five pillars of Queensland Rugby’s Strategy and with further investment and big events such as a home World Cup and Olympics on the horizon, there is a lot to look forward to in the future.”
Returning for season 2023, Charles Dudley has been appointed as strength and conditioning coach for his second consecutive year while Sunnybank’s Emma Ellison will also return as the team’s physiotherapist.
Sarah Petchell is on board as the team’s chaplain, while Queensland Reds logistics & Pathways Coordinator Lincoln Clapham will assist Reds General Manager of Professional Rugby Sam Cordingley with overseeing the program.
The Super W season kicks off for the Reds at AAMI Park in Melbourne on Saturday, 25 March in a double header with the Reds men against the Melbourne Rebels. For more information, visit Reds.Rugby.