Marco Caputo to coach at Gungahlin in 2019

The Gungahlin Eagles are delighted to announce Marco Caputo as the 1st-Grade head coach for the 2019 rugby season.

Caputo’s career in rugby as a player and coach is one of very high calibre, highlighted by his Wallabies debut in 1996 against Wales in Brisbane as a Hooker, and subsequent four matches in the famous gold jersey.

Marco is a product of Eagles Rugby from his early playing days. The Eagles 1990 premiership player has played 75 matches for the club, 58 of which were in 1st grade. Many of his teammates will attest to the fact that one of the great celebratory nights in the club’s history was the night he scored a try against Wales on debut in the Wallabies side.

Caputo playing for the Wallabies in the ’90s.

As a coach, Marco has experienced all levels of rugby in every corner of the globe. He is the assistant coach of the currently 4th placed NRC team, Canberra Vikings, and has already had a great influence on Eagles star players Tom Ross, Mack Hansen and BJ Edwards.

Marco was the Eagles head coach in 2009 and 2010, and has since been an attractive coach at the ACT Brumbies (2010-2011), Hashimoto Mitsubishi in Japan (2013-2014), Leinster Rugby in Dublin (2014-2015), Tonga Rugby International World Cup team (2015-2016), and the Kobelco Steelers in Japan (2016-2018).

Marco coached the Tongan International Rugby team at the 2015 Rugby World Cup

Club President Eoghan O’Byrne is delighted to bring such a quality coach to the club ahead of what is already shaping up to a big 2019 at Gungahlin.

Eoghan says “Marco will bring a wealth of knowledge and professional rugby experience to the Eagles and I am thrilled he wants to return to the red and black and give back to the club where his rugby began as a player and coach”

“I recall watching a video at the 50th-anniversary dinner where Marco gave thanks and congratulations to the Eagles on achieving the milestone all the way from Japan, that to me was the showing of a man who had a true love of the club”

“Our players should be excited by Marco’s appointment, as it’s one more of many opportunities to develop and take their game to the next level” he added.

Caputo coaching with Leinster Rugby Club in Dublin

Marco will take the reins after the club said farewell to previous coach Dan Atkins who unfortunately will hang up the whiteboard and take on a career opportunity in Queensland.

Marco confirmed he would take on the role and was quick to praise Atkins’ work and discuss his excitement and plans for what the club can expect under his leadership.

Caputo says “I’m coming into this role at a great time after Dan has built the club’s culture and set us up for success, it seems as though the club is in the best shape it’s ever been in terms of the quality and quantity of people coming through as players and volunteers”

“For me personally this is really special, it feels like I’ve come full circle in my coaching career after starting out as a coach with the Eagles a number of years ago, and now I’ve been around the world as a coach and I have the Eagles to thank for starting that journey off” he added.

“There is obviously great talent here and even more importantly there is genuine belief in the playing group. To come from last place half-way through last season to being one game away from a grand-final appearance is a truly special effort, so I’m looking forward to taking that character and grit forward – those things are hard to teach”

When asked about what people he was looking forward to working with, Caputo made first mention of the support around him in the coaching stocks.

“People like Glenn Carey, Troy Atkins and Ben McGee are so important, the club is built on what they teach the playing group and to be reunited with these guys and plenty of others will be great fun.”

“Then you’ve got the young talent coming through who will be either new to the club from various schools, experienced in colts, or pushing for first-grade selection. Mix that with players who have collectively played hundreds and hundreds of 1st-grade games, we’ll be knocking on the door as premiership contenders for a few years to come I should hope” he added.

Marco is already preparing the preseason logistics and we’ll be calling on players, volunteers and supporters to take part in the near future.

All Eagles are reminded to be present at the 2019 Planning Day and Players’ Leadership Workshop taking place at the Eastlake Gungahlin Club on Saturday 20th October from 9am-12pm.

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