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Ulster snap up St John’s Leatherhead Director of Rugby, Craig Newby

Ulster Rugby have confirmed that former New Zealand All Black Craig Newby, current Director of Rugby at St John’s, Leatherhead, will be joining their coaching set up ahead of the 2021/22 season.

41-year-old Newby, who won three caps for New Zealand, will join up as Skills Coach at the Kingspan.

Newby has been in England since 2008, having grown up in New Zealand where he attended Rotorua Boys High School before playing for the Blues and the Highlanders on his way to his All Black caps. He moved to Leicester Tigers where he won the Premiership Final and appeared in the kick at goal shoot-out in the Heineken Cup semi final in 2009 against Cardiff Blues.

Since then he has held a number of coaching roles, including involvements in the Harlequins U16s and Wasps U18s, as well as currently working with the England U20 Women’s team, where he is forwards coach.

His school coaching career saw him help take Warwick School to 2017 U18 Schools Cup title as assistant to Mark Nasey, before moving to St John’s Leatherhead to take up the Director of Rugby role. 

At St John’s he helped turn an occasionally competitive school into a side that could pose a real threat to some of the big names in English schoolboy rugby. In his first season they reached the semi finals of the Champions Trophy against eventual champions Dulwich College. The following year it was the quarter finals against another powerhouse, Epsom College, while in his third and final season (on the field at least!) only four schools got the better of his 1st XV.

He also played a key role in supporting the growth of the Women’s game at St John’s, with the highlight proving to be an England U18 cap for Molly Saunders.

Commenting on the signing of Newby, Ulster Rugby Head Coach, Dan McFarland, said to Ulster Rugby: “I look forward to welcoming Craig, and to working alongside him as he makes the role his own and plays his part in our ambition going forward as a squad.”

Newby himself said: “The positive environment at Ulster, together with how the club is run – both on and off the field – are what I am looking forward to being a part of when I join later this year. By bringing my personality and skillset as a coach to the role, I hope to build on the great work already underway.”

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