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Northern Suburbs Rugby Club has appointed Shannon Fraser as their new head coach for the 2018 and 2019 Shute Shield seasons, effective immediately, with the departure of Simon Cron to the NSW Waratahs.
Fraser comes to Norths after spending the past three seasons as head coach at Randwick.
He has coaching experience both here in Australia and overseas and was part of Fiji’s coaching team at the Rugby World Cups in France in 2007 and New Zealand in 2011.
The 39-year-old Fraser has also worked with the NSW Country Eagles in the National Rugby Championship since 2014, helping take the team to the grand final in 2016 and the semi-finals in 2014.
He has also worked in Japan as Head Coach and Director of Rugby at Japan Top League club NTT Communications as well as at the NSW Waratahs in 2008.
Norths Director of Rugby Grahame O’Donnell says: “We believe that Fraser is the perfect fit for the job.
“The process was very thorough but in Shannon I believe we have the right man to continue the work that Simon Cron and the player leadership group has achieved over the past couple of seasons.”
The selection committee was impressed with his technical expertise, manner and understanding of the culture that has emerged at Norths in recent years.
Interestingly the player leadership group was involved in the selection process with first grade skipper Will Miller and the Sinclair brothers, Angus and Hugh, sitting in on interviews.
O’Donnell chaired the selection committee that included Wallaby Cameron Shepherd, who also sits on the club board, Chris Hall and General Manager Jack Burey.
“Shannon has a clear understanding of what makes Norths tick. He is one of the game’s brightest young coaches with his own ideas on improvements,” O’Donnell added “What impressed the selection committee most was, his willingness to add to what is already there.”
Under Cron, Norths won the Shute Shield in 2016 and were runners up to Warringah in the season just past.
Fraser says of his move to Norths: “Its a huge honour to be head coach of this great club and I’m excited to be working with such a talented group of players and pushing for further premiership success in 2018.”
“Norths play an attractive brand of expansive ‘ball in hand’ rugby coupled with an abrasive attitude to their defence, and I’m looking forward to further developing this style, while challenging the playing group to improve and fulfil their individual and collective performance capacity.
“The club has a strong leadership group which has driven much of the changes that have occurred within the club over the past few seasons and I’m looking forward to further developing their role within the club to improve our competitive advantage.
“While we’ll be looking to build on the success of the past two seasons with the support of the strong Norths community, it’s imperative that we further evolve and improve what we do as a 2018 group to create our own success,” Fraser added.