Premier Rugby Sevens – March 2023

Three Canadian Coaches in Premier Rugby Sevens (PR7s) This Season

There are three Canadian coaches this coming season in the PR7s. DTH is assistant coach for the Headliners men’s team working with head coach Tim Stanfill who used to play for the Seattle team in the BC Premier. Robin MacDowell is the head coach of the Loonies women’s team and his assistant is Saskatchewan’s Brett Kannenberg who is also the assistant coach with the MacDowell Rugby 7s program.

The Loonies will be holding ID camps across Canada in April, there’s one in Victoria April 16th at UVic. Other ID camps are April 1st at Concordia University in Montreal and April 30th at Druids RFC in Edmonton. Contact Robin MacDowell for more info.

from PR7s

(NEW YORK, March 2, 2023) Premier Rugby Sevens (PR7s) announced their 2023 coaches for the league’s sixteen teams that will battle for the 2023 PR7s Championships. In addition to planning and executing strategies on the field, the coaches will also identify protected players and select talent through the 2023 PR7s Expansion Draft. PR7s doubled the number of teams this year, including the addition of expansion franchises in the Bay Area and Pittsburgh.

The following coaches have been confirmed, according to PR7s General Manager Mike Tolkin:

Eastern Conference coaches:

New York Locals men

Tui Osborne, head coach
Ethan Pougnet, assistant coach
New York Locals women

Karameli Faaee, head coach
T Fletcher, assistant coach
Pittsburgh Steeltoes men

Jason Kelly, head coach
Steve LaPorta, assistant coach
Pittsburgh Steeltoes women

Josie Ziluca, head coach
Emily Record, assistant coach
Southern Headliners men

Tim Stanfill, head coach
DTH van der Merwe, assistant coach
Southern Headliners women (defending champions)

Andrew Locke, head coach
Lauren Barber, assistant coach
Texas Team men

Troy Hall, head coach
Kurt Morath, assistant coach
Texas Team women

Lauren Trout, head coach
John Coumbe-Lilley, assistant coach
Western Conference coaches:

Golden State Retrievers men

Peter Sio, head coach
Jone Naqica, assistant coach
Golden State Retrievers women

Kelly Griffin, head coach
Mere Baker, assistant coach
Loonies men

Matt Wagner, head coach
David Fee, assistant coach
Loonies women

Robin MacDowell, head coach
Brett Kannenberg, assistant coach
Rocky Mountain Experts men

JK Anderson, head coach
Emil Walton, assistant coach
Rocky Mountain Experts women

Irene Gardner, head coach
Ros Chou, assistant coach
SoCal Loggerheads men (defending champions)

Frankie Horne, head coach
Waisale Serevi, assistant coach
SoCal Loggerheads women

Anna Lena Swartz, head coach
Cecil Afrika, assistant coach
“This year’s roster of coaches is outstanding and will bring experience from the highest levels of our sport to PR7s,” said Tolkin. “We have former Olympians, Hall of Famers, and many of the most respected minds in rugby sevens. They will ensure the best level of competition as their teams battle to bring home a championship to their respective regions.”

PR7s tournaments will bring the famous rugby sevens festival experience this summer to Austin at Q2 Stadium (Saturday, June 17), Minneapolis at TCO Stadium (Saturday, June 24), San Jose at PayPal Park (Saturday, July 15), and Pittsburgh at Highmark Stadium (Sunday, July 23). The top teams from each conference will qualify for the 2023 Championship tournament, which will take place in August. The championship venue will be announced in the coming weeks. Tickets for each event are available at

The PR7s 2022 season included over 30 matches nationwide. The Southern Headliners took home the first United Championship, led by Team USA Olympic co-captain Abby Gustaitis for the Headliners women and U.S. national team player Adam Channel on the men’s side. The Headliners also won the Kathy Flores Cup for women’s top prize, while the SoCal Loggerheads earned the A. Jon Prusmack Cup as the men’s champion, led by U.S. Olympians Martin Iosefo and Matai Leuta.

About Premier Rugby Sevens

Premier Rugby Sevens (PR7s) is a groundbreaking professional sports league in North America that debuted in 2021. With a focus on accessibility and entertaining content for fans, the league showcases the electrifying sport of rugby sevens through a touring format in cities across the United States. PR7s is the first sports organization of its kind, with men’s and women’s teams competing under one umbrella with equal pay. To learn more about Premier Rugby Sevens, go to and follow the league on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


Posted in Tournaments.