We regret to inform the SUFC community that Joe Horn-Smith will not be taking up his long-standing role as Club Scrum Coach and 1st Grade Assistant Coach for 2021.

Joe has made the decision to remain in the Cook Islands with his family, due to the uncertainty of international travel regarding COVID-19 restrictions. Joe sacrificed a huge amount during the 2020 season to be able to support SUFC and take up the role of 1st Grade’s Co-Head Coach. This meant he spent most of the year away from his wife and three young children.

Joe will stay connected with the Club, remaining involved with the program remotely and he will continue to be a great source of advice for both coaches and players alike, and we are hopeful he will return to SUFC in 2022.

Joe had the following to say on his decision “It’s been an awesome experience to be part of a club like Sydney University for such a long time. I have met some great young kids, and watched them go through the system, coming out the other side as better people and better players. To be a part of premiership winning teams as a Player and Coach, is extra special and I know I have made some lifelong friends.

With all this said, it made it an extremely tough decision to step away from the Club for the 2021 season. I decided it would be unfair to Coach 1st Grade knowing it would mean more time away from my young family and with an uncertain timeline of boarders reopening it was impossible to have certainty around how long this would be. My hope is that this is a temporary break and a will remain involved with the best club in the world for many more years to come.”

We would like to take the opportunity to thank Joe for his significant contribution to SUFC in 2020 and the many years before that, we look forward to seeing him back in the Blue and Gold very soon!  

To ensure we continue to provide the best rugby program to the players, the Club has added some additional expertise to our coaching ranks:

  • Laurie Weeks – 1st Grade Forwards Coach
  • Dean Mumm – Lineout Coach (1st/2nd Grade)
  • Gareth Hardy – 2nd Grade Forwards Coach
  • Tom Coolican – 3rd Grade Forwards Coach

The Club is also delighted to announce Phil Blake (former Wallabies, Western Force, Wasps and Leicester Tigers Defence Coach) as our Club Defence Coach as well as assisting Rob Taylor with 1st Grade. Phil has an extensive track record throughout the professional rugby scene and will provide a great resource for all SUFC players and coaches across the program.