SEASON 1 - 2020

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Matt Taylor - Defence Coach, Wallabies  

S1 Ep 20 - Tackling Defence  

Release Date - 16 Nov 2020

Matt Taylor is currently the defence coach for the Australian Wallabies. He joined the coaching team in 2019, after an 8 year successful coaching stint in Scotland.  He coached at the Glasgow Warriors, and as assistant coach for Scotland for two world cups. Prior to that, he held the defence coach position at the Queensland Reds, assisting in claiming the 2011 Super rugby title. In his playing days, he was selected for the Scotland A side as flanker, having played in various club teams both in Scotland and Australia. Matt and I chat about the Wallabies defensive structures and analysis, the extended coaching team at the Wallabies, the new generation of players, patriotism, pride in the jersey, his thoughts on how the Wallabies can continue to improve and enjoy future successes, and how pleased he is to be back in Australia.
 

Curtis Bradford - National Coach, Austria Rugby 

S1 Ep 19 - The Austrian Advantage  

Release Date - 16 Nov 2020

Curtis Bradford is currently the head coach of the Austrian Sevens team and also the backs coach for the Austrian mens XV a side team. He has previously worked with the Waratahs in Australia, the Tigers in Kuala Lumpur, the Welsh Rugby Union and also in Finland, all in Rugby roles. He was involved in the Friends of Rwanda Rugby project, bringing Rugby to children living in impoverished regions of Rwanda. Curtis is the youngest World rugby coach at age 25, and has experiences from around the globe in rugby to share today. He is keen to see rugby in Austria grow, and developing each rugby player to leave the jersey in a better place for the next representative of Austria. He brings a new vision and enthusiasm to the sport in the country and is an exciting coaching talent in the world of union.

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Tim Wallace - Former Wallaby, Head Coach at The Shore School  

S1 Ep 18 - Time for Shore to Soar  

Release Date - 10 Nov 2020

Tim Wallace is currently the Head coach of the First XV at the Shore School , a GPS school in Sydney. He has been at the school as a teacher for 20 years and was the former Master in Charge of Rugby, but this year has returned to coaching. Tim was selected in the Australian U21’s in 1990, following playing in the first XV at Barker College and making his first grade debut with the Gordon club. He was part of the NSW Waratahs, from 1993-1996, and played for the Wallabies in 1994. We talk to Tim about the great traditions of school boy rugby, the challenges with securing success on the rugby pitch for the school, the passionate and committed rugby community at the school, and the goals for the Shore school for the 2021 Rugby season and beyond .

Toutai Kefu - Former Wallaby and International Coach  

S1 Ep 17 - An Overview with Toutai 

Release Date - 29 Oct 2020

Toutai Kefu is a Tonga-born rugby player and now coach, who earned 60 caps playing at number eight for the Australian national team, and was in the winning 1999 World Cup side. He was arguably the best number 8 Australia has seen. He was the head coach of the Tongan national team in 2016, having previously coached them in a caretaker role in 2012. He is also the Assistant Coach of the First 15 at Brisbane Boys College, coached the forwards for the Rugby World Cup in 2011, was appointed head coach of Queensland country in the National Rugby Championhips and then headed to Japan to coach the Kubota Spears. He is currently coaching at the World Tens Series in Bermuda and I talk to him about his illustrious playing career, his subsequent coaching world, his vision for the proposed Pasifika team in the next Super competition, some Tonga and Polynesian cultural discussion, and what the game continues to give to him.

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Mark Tonga - Chairman, Disability Council of NSW 

S1 Ep 16 - ReMARKable and Resilient  

Release Date - 18 Oct 2020

Mark Tonga is an inspirational and resilient man who has accomplished so much, and continues to, despite experiencing a catastrophic injury while playing rugby in 2008 that has left him a quadriplegic. Mark is currently the Chairman of the disability council of NSW, studying his masters of Business (MBA) at the University of NSW, having previously completed a Bachelor of Business. He is Chairman of the City of Sydney Inclusion Advisory panel,  a committee member of Willoughby Council for Aged & Disability and Client Liaison officer for the Hearts In Union Rugby Foundation. Mark is a Committee member for the Australian Museum Accessibility and Inclusion Advisory Panel He is on the NDIS Independent Advisory Council - for the Department of Social Services. Since his spinal injury to his cervical spine during  rugby training in 2008 Mark has been a passionate and committed advocate for people with a disability. He currently holds several positions within the community and not-for-profit sectors providing him with a strong advocacy platform - one that he uses enthusiastically to increase resources and provide access, for people with diverse disabilities. 

Gaven Head - GM Community Rugby, Qld Reds  

S1 Ep 15 - Heading Up Commnuity 

Release Date - 16 Oct 2020

Gaven Head is currently the General Manager of Community Rugby at the Queensland Reds. Prior to this role, he worked with Australian Rugby and the Ramsay Foundation in acquiring grants for communities and schools to support rugby programs. He consulted to Rugby Australia to advise and recommend future strategies and their implementation for community rugby in Australia. He was the community rugby manager at the Queensland Reds and worked with the Reds in this capacity for almost 11 years, and also General Manger for 13 years in Queensland community rugby. He has a strong community focus and I talk to Gaven about rugby in Queensland, the regional roadshow he is currently undertaking to promote the game, his thoughts on what community rugby needs to succeed and the future of the game from his perspective.

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Peter Murphy - Executive Director, Australian Rugby Foundation 

S1 Ep 14 - Fundraising and the Foundation 

Release Date - 28 Sep 2020

In 2017 Peter Murphy  was appointed as  Executive Director of The Australian Rugby Foundation which is Rugbys national fundraising body. He was formerly the Executive Director of the Shore Foundation and also from 2005 - 2008, the High Performance Manager for Fiji Rugby Union. He is a former Olympic Rower and competed at the 1992 and 1996 Olympics representing Australia.  I talk to Peter about the Australian Rugby Foundation, the investment in the game, the challenges associated with fundraising, the structure and governance of the Foundation, the plans for the immediate future investment in the game, and Peter’s passion for the role.

Jamie Barnwell  - Head Coach, Bermuda Rugby 

S1 Ep 13 - The Bermudian Breakdown 

Release Date - 17 Sep 2020

Jamie is the current Head coach of the Bermudian Men’s XV’s National side and was also head coach of the women’s 7’s for Bermuda. From 2018-2020. Prior to that Jamie was the Head Coach in the Malaysian Super League, head coach of the senior women’s rugby academy in England, the attack coach of the Richmond women’s football club, and the honey badger 7’s based in north west London. Jamie is a PE teacher by trade and taught all round the world, including Shanghai Malaysia, England, South Africa and England. I talk to the positive and passionate Jamie about the joy of coaching on the island, the Rugby America’s North competition, the Caribbean and the World Rugby Classic- a week of rugby and a party for the region, also, what he is doing in the game of rugby in Bermuda.

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Phil Thomson - CEO, ACT Brumbies 

S1 Ep 12 - Bullish Brumbies 

Release Date - 07 Sep 2020

A product of Marist College Canberra Phil represented the Colleges first XV in 1978 and 1979 and the ACT Schoolboys in both years. An ACT junior representative at all levels, Phil also represented NSW U18 and the Australian Schoolboys in 1979, prior to commencing his first-grade career with Royals in 1980. and in 1981 gained Australian U21 selection.  Phil played with Royals and the ACT throughout the 80’s until he retired in 1990. In 1983 Phil joined the Australian Federal Police and worked for almost 15 years in the force as a Detective until he resigned in 1997 to work full time in Rugby. From 1993 to 1995 Phil was the ACT U21s, Team Manager and in 1996 he became the inaugural Brumbies Team Manager. He was with the team for 6 seasons.  During this period Phil also managed the Australian Barbarians in 1999, Australian U21’s in 2000 and Australia A in 2001 in their victory over the British and Irish Lions.  In 2001 Phil was appointed Team Manager of the Wallabies and he managed the Wallabies for 9 years which included 106 Test matches covering the 2003 and 2007 World Cups and 7 Spring Tours.   In 2010 Phil was appointed as ARU’s first Integrity Manager. Phil lead the development of all of Rugby’s integrity programs which currently exist today. He has been a member of the Coalition of Major Professional & Participation Sports (COMPPS) Integrity Committee since it formed in 2010.  He was appointed to the World Rugby Anti-Doping Panel and became recognised as a leading authority on integrity across the global game. In May 2016 Phil was seconded from the ARU and stepped in as the in as Brumbies Interim CEO, holding the position until December 2016. Phil resigned from the ARU and in February 2017 began a corporate role as Chief Operating Officer with contentgroup, He returned to rugby and since October 2018, Phil has held the position of Chief Executive Officer  at the Brumbies and is leading the Rugby franchise today.

Scott Young - National Manager High Performance, Match Officials, Rugby AU 

S1 Ep 11 - The Whistleblower 

Release Date - 31 Aug 2020

Scott Young began as a professional Referee with Rugby Australia in January 1996 through to December 2006. He has Refereed 49 Super Rugby matches and 25 test matches, all over the world.In 1998 & 2006 he received the Super Rugby Referee of the Year award. Scott was Selected to officiate the Rugby World Cup in 1999 and 2003 and also for the Rugby World Cup Sevens in 2001 & Commonwealth Games 7s in 1998. He then became the high performance coach of match officials for the World Series sevens with World Rugby for 2011 and 2012. He is now the National Manager - high performance for match officials at Rugby Australia and has been in the role since 2014. Scott Led the implementation and contributed to the development of the World Series Sevens Refereeing Strategic Plans in (2012-2016) and also in 2016-2020, ensuring continuity of the Sevens game globally. He Championed the development and execution of Australian Rugby’s Match Official Development Strategy and National Match Officials Strategic Plan (2014-2019).

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Baden Stephenson - CEO, Melbourne Rebels 

S1 Ep 10 - Rebel with a Cause 

Release Date - 24 Aug 2020

Baden has over 20 year’s experience working in professional Rugby Union in Canberra, Japan, Sydney and Melbourne. Baden has enjoyed success as a representative player, coach and administrator. Arriving in the non-traditional rugby state of Melbourne, Baden was appointed the General Manager Rugby in February 2014 prior to a promotion to CEO in June 2017.  He was tasked with rebuilding the Club’s high performance, commercial and community portfolio’s following a major transitional phase. Baden has been the longest serving CEO since inception in 2011. A graduate of the University of Canberra, Level 3 coach and a recent alumnus from the exclusive PWC Ascent leadership course through Melbourne Business School has helped shape Baden has a leader. He has vast experience and very strong working relationships across Club Rugby, Super Rugby franchises, Rugby Australia and SANZAAR.

Josephine Sukkar - Principal and Founder, BUILDCORP

S1 Ep 9 - Building Rugby 

Release Date - 14 Aug 2020

Josephine is the Principal of Australian construction company Buildcorp which she owns with her husband Tony. Established 30 years ago, Buildcorp employs over 300 staff and turns over $600m. She is also a director of private, public, government and not for profit organisations, including Growthpoint, Washington H. Soul Pattinson, Opera Australia, the Australian Museum, Centenary Institute and the Buildcorp Foundation.  She is a passionate supporter of rugby union and is President of Australian Women’s Rugby. Through Buildcorp, she and her husband have sponsored grassroots and women’s rugby for almost 30 years. She is a graduate of the University of NSW, a Fellow of the University of Sydney and in 2017 was awarded an Order of Australia.

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Grace Hamilton - Wallaroos Captain

S1 Ep 8 - Amazing Grace 

Release Date - 11 Aug 2020

Hailing from Country NSW, Grace Hamilton was surrounded by Rugby at a young age. She didn’t play until much later at Sydney University, and has been part of the generation of growing participation in Womens Rugby. In 2017, Grace was chosen to represent Australia at the International Women's Rugby Series in New Zealand and went on to play for Australia at the Women’s Rugby World Cup in Ireland. Grace plays Number 8 for the NSW Women’s Buildcorp Super W side and following a win in the 2018 inaugural season, was selected in the Wallaroo’s squad to take on New Zealand in the Bledisloe Series. In 2019 Grace was named Captain of Australia for the Japan Series, capping off a strong and rapid rise through the ranks. Grace Hamilton was deservedly crowned Wallaroo Of The Year in 2019, bravely accepting the award 3 days after losing her beloved dad John, former NSW Country Rugby president. The Wallaroos had planned to play six international Tests in 2020, however have been forced to amend some plans for the current season, but are looking forward to continuing to represent their country in the sport of rugby moving forward. 

Phil Waugh - Former Wallaby and Director, Rugby AU Board

S1 Ep 7 - The Community Waugh  

Release Date - 03 Aug 2020

Phil Waugh's career as a rugby player began at the Narrabeen tigers , and then onto the Warringah rats. He played schoolboy rugby at the Shore School,  in the First XV. He was selected to represent the Australian Schoolboy’s, Australia’s U19’s and then Australian U21’s. Phil achieved the highest levels of professional Rugby with a career playing for both the NSW Waratahs and the Australian Wallabies, often leading both sides. He played 124 matches in Super Rugby for the NSW Waratahs, and had a professional career from 1999 through to 2008. He played 79 Test matches for the Wallabies usually playing at openside flanker. He was named vice captain of the 2003 Rugby World Cup team and also captain of the Waratahs in 2007 and in 2008, before retiring from the professional game. He was the first ambassador of the Sydney Junior Rugby Union, is a sought after guest speaker since his retirement, and continues to have a successful corporate career. In 2018 Phil was appointed as a non executive director of the board for Rugby Australia. He is now on an advisory sub committee armed with shortlisting Australian Rugby’s next CEO. 

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Rod Seib - Head Coach, Queensland Reds Academy  

S1 Ep 6 - Nurturing the Next Generation 

Release Date - 27 Jul 2020

Rod Seib is currently the Head Coach at the Queensland Rugby Academy. He is a former teacher and educator, and has transferred those skills into his Rugby coaching roles. He coached Brothers Rugby 1st Grade and in 2019 they were Minor Premiers and Grand Finalists in the competition. In 2018 he was the Head coach of Queensland Country and also the Queensland schoolboys head coach. Rod was also head coach of the NRC team, Brisbane City in 2016.  He played U19 and U21 representative teams for Queensland and had a short stint for the reds. He played first grade from 1995-2001 with 118 caps and began his coaching career at his grassroots club. 

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Craig Morgan - General Manager, Western Sydney Two Blues 

S1 Ep 4 - How the West Can be Won

Release Date - 06 Jul 2020

Craig Morgan started his rugby journey as a former Manly Junior, a Northern Zone, Sydney and NSW Junior Representative and Manly Colt before switching his attention to Rugby League. After relocating to the Central Coast, Craig returned to rugby playing First Grade with The Entrance Rams for several seasons before joining the Warnervale Wildcats inaugural senior grade season as the clubs first senior ever team captain and club captain and eventually serving the club as a junior coach,  and Vice President. Craig is the founder of the Central Coast Sevens, launched in 2009 the tournament is widely regarded by some of the sevens world’s most prominent coaches and players as the toughest invitational 7s tournament outside of the World-Series,. Today, Craig is the General Manager of the Western Sydney Two Blues (formerly known as the Parramatta Two Blues) in Sydney’s Shute Shield competition, where he is working to have an impact on assisting in rebuilding rugby in the West of Sydney and supporting the Two Blues in returning as a competitive force for rugby in the region.

Owen Finegan - Former Wallaby and CEO, The Kids Cancer Project

S1 Ep 5 - Melon Not Lemon 

Release Date - 19 Jul 2020

Owen Finegan went to school at Waverley College and played rugby union at the Randwick Rugby club. He was part of the pioneering team at the Act Brumbies, formed in 1996, and played with the Brumbies until 2005 with 90 caps  and was one of the last remaining foundation players. He debuted for the Wallabies in 1996 and went on to secure 56 caps, playing in the successful 1999 World Cup winning team. He played for the Wallabies over the next decade and was part of the contingent that moved from the amateur to professional era of rugby. In 2005, he signed with English club Newcastle Falcons, played the 2006–7 season in Dublin and he also later signed with English team Leicester Tigers, where he finished his rugby career. Today he is the CEO of The Kids Cancer Project. 

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David Mortimer - Former President of Sydney University Football  Club 

S1 Ep 3 - Governance and Grassroots 

Release Date - 27 Jun 2020

David Mortimer has had a distinguisjed business career spanning five decades and has been at the helm as either CEO, Chairman or Director of some of the most iconic Australian companies including TNT, Ansett, Ascham School, Sydney Airports Corporation, Sigma Pharmaceuticals, Leighton Holdings, Intoll, and Australia Post. In 2005 David was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Australia and he has  worked closely with the Federal Government to conduct various key reviews. David Mortimer is presently Chair of Opera Australia, Director of Petsec Energy Limited and MySale Group. He is Governor of the Australia and Israel Chamber of Commerce and a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He is a member of the Board of Governors of the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) and an Ambassador of the Australian Indigenous Education Foundation (AIEF). He was Chairman of Crescent Capital Partners for 16 years until his retirement at the end of 2017. Mr. Mortimer is a Director of the Australian Schoolboys Rugby Foundation and is Chairman of the Sydney University Football Club Foundation. He was President of the Sydney University Football Club for 16 years until his retirement in 2016. 

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Brendan Cannon - Former Wallaby Hooker 

S1 Ep 2 - 'A Candid Conversation with Canno' 

Release Date - 22 Jun 2020

Brendan is a former Wallaby who played for three Australian teams in the Super 12 and Super 14 competitions. He played for both the Queensland Reds (19 Caps) and the New South Wales Waratahs (70 Caps) in the old Super 12 competition, prior to the entry of the Western Force, whom he played with for their first season (17 Caps). Brendan played for St Laurence’s college in Queensland during his formative rugby years, and then headed to Souths before being selected for the Australian U19 and then U20’s representative sides. He has been capped 42 times for Australia, making his debut in 2001 against the touring British and Irish Lions team. Brendan retired in April 2007 due to a serious injury. Since retiring from playing, He was integral in the launch of White Ribbon Day, a campaign to stop violence against women, he has worked as a commentator for Fox Sports in Australia and then in various roles in the corporate world and is currently General Manager at Verifact.

Tim Sampson - Head Coach, The Western Force 

S1 Ep 1 - 'A Force to be reckoned with' 

Release Date - 11 Jun 2020

Tim Sampson is currently the Head Coach of the Western Force.  He was appointed by owner of the franchise, Andrew Forrest, in April 2018. During the 2019 season, Tim led the Western Force in the new Global Rapid Rugby competition and he also led the Force in the National Rugby Championship. Prior to his move west, Tim was Head Coach of the Canberra Vikings NRC team, taking them to the Grand Final. 

Tim played his junior and grade rugby with Sunnybank in Queensland, and is still the most capped first grade player with over 150 caps for the club. He was a member of the Sunnybank team that won the clubs first ever Premier Rugby title in 2005, and then captained the team to another title in 2007. He represented Queensland on four occasions, then retired from rugby and began his coaching career as assistant coach at his beloved Sunnybank dragons. 

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