From the Editor’s Desk – December 2023

Introducing the Atlantic Privateers, Updates on the Vancouver Highlanders and Queen’s University Posts Job for Head Coach Men’s Rugby

The theme of today’s post is men’s high-performance XVs  across Canada, touching on the Highlanders in BC, Queen’s in Ontario and the Privateers in Atlantic Canada.

The Atlantic Privateers announced their brand today in a Facebook live video, we transcribed the first four minutes and linked to the full video. The Vancouver Highlanders made an announcement on their Defence Coach and Queen’s University have their men’s XVs head coach job posted. It’s all included below.

Atlantic Privateers (transcribed from video)

Without further ado, like to introduce the founder and general manager of the Atlantic Selects, Dr. John Gillis.

Thanks, Dylan. Thanks, everybody, for coming. Busy time of year. Really appreciate Brian and Justin from Garrison for having us here today and also for supporting our program and little bit more on that to come. So the Atlantic Selects came out of nowhere. A couple years ago, we went Toronto to play a game.

We’ve since been to Boston. We’ve played the Coast to Coast cup twice here in Halifax. But it’s really our goal to take things to the next level. And what that means is a new brand and the evolution of high performance rugby in Nova Scotia, in Atlantic Canada, moving towards professional rugby, which is our goal.

So we’ll talk about that. But I’m going to show you, without further ado.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Atlantic Privateers rugby club. Our new team, which is again a high performance team, which will seek to play an extensive exhibition schedule and eventually move into, hopefully a Canadian league format and to bring, as I said, a path way for our players in Atlantic Canada to play professional rugby and to move up to play for Canada and to bring things forward in the next World cup cycle.

What’s different about this team? The Atlantic Selects were a team that we put together from the four unions in Atlantic Canada and some friends from Quebec. We had some good success, had a great game against the Royal Navy this past year, but the next phase is doing it more professionally, more formally, to give our players a place to train, a place to grow.

Place to develop so again they will have a chance to play professionally and hopefully for Canada. So this is where the Privateers are going. As you can see from the logo it’s a ship coming out of the east that’s going to go far and wide, do a little bit of raiding, do a little bit of plundering, play some rugby, have some fun as we go but all the while bringing that east coast mentality of work hard, have a good time and show the brand that really fits with what our players are trying to do and what Garrison try to do.

Our key founding sponsor and we share some of the colours with Garrison so we really look forward to moving forward just a couple technical pieces. We’ll have more information on games in the coming weeks but we already have on the docket in April we’re going to Charlotte to play the USA Hawks.

That’s the American under 23 team. We’re going to Boston to play the New England Independence, which is the academy team of the professional and MLR champion Freejacks. Despite some challenges in Ontario with the Arrows, we fully expect that and we will work with them to keep the Arrows academy going and we hope to play them again in the Coast to Coast cup, where we expect to see our new friends, the Vancouver Highlanders.

Really excited about the Vancouver Highlanders. Our friends Curry and Ralph are starting a new competition, the Rugby Players Challenge, which is a wide open competition that any team can join, and we’re actively in negotiations working on joining that competition. But regardless, we expect to see our friends, the Highlanders, here in Halifax in June and again build out a schedule that will give people something that they want to come and watch to really have fun and to get behind this brand.


Vancouver Highlanders (transcribed from image)


VANCOUVER, CANADA – December 11, 2023 – Vancouver Highlanders Rugby is dedicated to advancing the personal and professional development of the person through rugby union. The team will play in the 2024 Rugby Players Challenge (www.Rugby, hosting home games at fields around Metro Vancouver between May 1 and August 31. To that end, the Highlanders are proud to announce the appointment of Bill Chamberlain as Defence Coach.

Highlanders Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer, Curry Hitchborn, said: “Bill and I have a history of winning together and his ability to build competitive programs speaks for itself. Having another highly qualified and respected Canadian coach this team is important. Bill knows how to coach in Canada and forge the identity needed to sustain a winning culture.”

Coach Chamberlain added: “Over two decades of teaching and coaching rugby have allowed me to pursue my passion of helping young men work towards and reach their potential. I eagerly accept the opportunity to continue this pursuit with the Highlanders as their mission to “advance the personal and professional development of the person through rugby” speaks directly to my philosophy. Having coached at many levels of rugby I look forward to being able to help athletes achieve their dreams and goals of playing rugby at the highest level. Having known Ralph, Curry and Tom for years I know I am joining a team of competitors with proven track records of success, and I look forward to working with them to advance our team goals.”

Coach Larisch said: “Bill has invested over 30 years in his craft and competed at the highest level of sports in Canada. I respect his knowledge of rugby and ability to build a strong team culture. The consistent success of the programs he has led is impressive indeed. His players always hold him in the highest regard. His love for teaching and coaching rugby is obvious and I’m ecstatic to work with another passionate Canadian on our mission to better the lives of young men through our sport.” Vancouver Highlanders Rugby Player Development Centres will deliver age-grade training (U12, U14, U16 and U18) to aspiring players commencing in 2024. Please watch our website for details.


For more information, please visit:

Queen’s University Coaching Job

Head Coach, Men’s Rugby

Competition Number:J1123-1020
Position Title:Head Coach, Men’s Rugby
Position Number (Final):00503968
Employee Group:Support Staff
Job Category:Athletics and Recreation
Department or Area:A&R High Performance
Location:Kingston, Ontario, Canada (On-site)
Salary:$75,000.00 – $88,000.00/Year
Hours per Week:35
Job Type:Permanent (Continuing)
Shift:7 Monday – Friday
Number Of Positions:1
Date Posted:December 9, 2023
Closing Date:January 21, 2024


Posted in Editorials, Front Page.