With the exit of Phil Blake to Manly Marlins confirmed last week, Sydney University has announced Sean Hedger will lead the Students forward in 2022.
Hedger brings extensive international coaching experience and is familiar with Australia’s university rugby system, having spent five years as Director of Rugby at Bond University from 2015.
Most recently, Hedger has been applying his trade in Japan, acting as Attack and Backs Coach for the Kintetsu Liners in Osaka, a side which finished first in 2020 and second the following season.
The 46-year-old says he is excited to be leading a rugby organisation that he has admired for many seasons.
“I have closely analysed the Students success for many years and regard SUFC as the benchmark in Australian club rugby,” he said.
“The club’s on-field success is no accident. The Colts and Grade rugby programs have been first class for years, resulting in a production line of talent for Australian and overseas rugby franchises.
“Coaching at Sydney Uni is as close to a professional program as possible in Australian rugby. I am determined to help all players and coaches progress and achieve both their individual and team aspirations.”
As is customary with any Students squad, there will be high expectations surrounding their performances next season, especially having not conceded a loss in the COVID-interrupted 2021.
Hedger’s introduction is doubtful to interrupt any of this recent success, with set-piece dominance and dogged defence destined to feature in any modern Sydney Uni game plan.
Director of Rugby at SUFC, Nick Ryan, believes Hedger’s international coaching experience puts him in good stride to continue his club’s unbeaten 2021 season.
“Sean has an outstanding track record of developing young players and improving talent,” he said.
“His experience at both a community and professional level of rugby will add significant value to our rugby program, and we’re excited to see him excel at SUFC.”
Hedger will join the club from 1 November, with the 2022 Charter Hall Shute Shield season kicking off in early April.