PITTSBURGH, PA – The Pittsburgh Forge, the city’s newest and largest rugby club, is pleased to announce that Stephen Walsh has been hired as the Head Coach for the men’s XV’s program beginning in August 2018.
Steve has over twenty five (25) years of playing experience at all levels and disciplines of rugby including several years as a professional player. Steve’s playing career began at the age of 5 when he played on youth sides for Our Lady of the Sacred Heart and Marcellin Junior/ High School sides in Sydney, Australia. In 1974, he toured New Zealand with the first team rugby union high school age side. From 1974 through 1976, Steve was the captain of the Brothers Rugby Club which was also a high school age side.
In 1977, he began playing club rugby for Randwick Rugby Club, participating in two premierships and being coached by Bob Dwyer, the legendary Australian rugby union coach. Randwick DRUFC is an Australian rugby union club which competes in the Sydney premier grade rugby union competition. The club was formed in 1882 and since then has won thirty two (32) first grade premierships and six Australian club championships. It is one of the traditional powerhouses of the Shute Shield competition, winning fourteen (14) titles from 1978 to 1996.
Steve began playing for the legendary South Sydney Rabbitohs, a professional Australian rugby league team based in Redfern, a suburb of Sydney in 1980. During his four seasons there, from 1980 – 1983, Steve made fifty eight (58) appearances while scoring twelve (12) tries and one hundred and six (106) points. Steve played in one finals match with the Rabbitohs during his rookie season of 1980. Steve continued his professional career in France, playing for Lyon OU in 1988 and finally served as a captain/coach for Anse XIII in 1989 before retiring from playing.
Steve began coaching during his time with the South Sydney Rabbitohs as a coach for his home high school side at Macrellin. He coached there from 1980 until 1984 before moving up to the collegiate level, coaching St. Aloysius’ Rugby Club in Sydney from 1985 until 1987. From 1991 until 1994 and then again from 1997 to 1998, Steve coached St. Mary’s Cathedral College’s first team before returning to rugby leagues as a coach for the Alice Springs, a Division 1 side in 1999.
In the early 2000’s, Steve moved to England were he became the coach of St. John Beaumont School’s second side before moving to Pittsburgh in the mid-2000’s. Once in Pittsburgh, Steve worked as the Head Coach for the Pittsburgh Harlequins from 2006 until 2012 and then the Pittsburgh Rugby Club from 2013 until 2016. Stephen is currently a USA Rugby Level 200 certified coach.
Professionally, Coach Walsh’s expertise lies in professional training and development with more than 30 years of experience in presenting educational and instructional training programs. Since the early 2000’s Stephen has worked as a training manager for a number of different companies. For the last several years, he has worked for Oxford Seminars as an instructor specializing in certifying students who are becoming English, English as a foreign language and English as second language instructors. Steve is also a certified personal trainer.
Coach Walsh is extremely excited about Forge Men’s Head Coach and assisting the club in their goal to become the City’s premier club for senior men’s rugby. He looks to develop a competitive, high level first side that will compete for regional and national championships in the short term in addition to competitive second and third sides that will compete in their own right. Steve has also expressed a desire to assist the club in growing and cultivating the game in the City of Pittsburgh and regionally. Coach Walsh brings to the Forge his vast playing and coaching experiences in additional to a level of professionalism not seen by many amateur clubs in the United States.
The Pittsburgh Forge’s Summer 7’s programming begins on Tuesday, May 22 at Phillip Murray Field near Pittsburgh’s Southside. Training will be held every Tuesday and Thursday evening in the City at 7:00 PM.
The club’s XV’s season will begin in August 2018. Any interested men are strongly encouraged to contact the club at PGHForgeRugby@gmail.com.