Brett Wilkinson is departing Buccaneers Rugby Football Club to take up an International coaching opportunity with the Hong Kong Cricket Club, which despite its name is one of the former British colony’s leading rugby clubs.
Wilkinson, who has been head coach at Buccaneers for the past two seasons, takes up his new appointment next month. The South African played with Connacht 183 times and won six Ireland A caps.
A renowned front row forward, he enjoyed terrific success in his maiden senior club coaching appointment with Buccs, guiding them to the All-Ireland League play-offs in his first season in charge as well as winning the Connacht Senior League title.
The Pirates did even better last term, completing a Connacht Senior Cup and league double as well as romping to the Division 1B title, securing promotion to the top flight of club rugby in Ireland.
Wilkinson was an extremely popular and efficient coach with the Athlone club, where he encouraged his youthful squad to play enterprising and expansive rugby while espousing discipline and workrate. He was a firm believer in respect for the club and honouring its ethos. Brett is assisting the Midlanders in their search for a suitable replacement as Buccaneers prepare for Division 1A.
Wilkinson will link up at the club with another ex-Bucc in fellow Springbok Dylan Rogers, who recently won his first international cap for Hong Kong in a narrow defeat to upcoming World Cup hosts Japan. Prop Rogers played U20s for Buccaneers while a student at Athlone IT, and later returned to play with Connacht where Wilkinson was a teammate for a number of seasons.
He retired from rugby some years ago when work took him to Hong Kong, but resumed playing a couple of years ago.