From coaching in Dublin to Yale University, here's the lowdown on the Ireland coach
Greg McWilliams: Ten things you should know about the Ireland Women head coach
Greg McWilliams, the Ireland Women head coach, has an interesting background – on both sides of the Atlantic.
Ten things you should know about Greg McWilliams
1. Greg McWilliams was born on 8 September 1978. As a young rugby player, he represented Leinster U20 and Irish Colleges.
2. Despite being educated at Dublin rival St Michael’s College, McWilliams took up the academy head coaching role at Blackrock College RFC in 2005.
He had a foot in both camps for three years from 2006, when he became first XV head coach at St Michael’s.
3. Becoming a rugby coach was a lifetime ambition for McWilliams. Writing for the Blackrock College RFC website in 2016, he said: “My passion from a young age was in coaching, I was addicted.
“I loved dealing with people, and enjoyed the intelligence of rugby, and trying to use that intelligence in a way that allowed players to develop and grow.”
4. He became backs coach for the Ireland women’s side in 2009 and was part of a golden era for the team. He was on the staff for his country’s inaugural Grand Slam-winning Six Nations campaign of 2013 and its best-ever Rugby World Cup finish, fourth, a year later.
Ireland Women also became the first Irish rugby team to beat New Zealand at that RWC 2014 tournament.
5. McWilliams moved on from Ireland women’s set-up in 2014 to take up the director of rugby role at Yale University in Connecticut.
6. McWilliams certainly made his mark as a coach in the States. He became an assistant for USA men’s team in 2017 and led Major League Rugby franchise Rugby United New York in 2019. He left both posts in 2021.
7. Away from rugby, McWilliams worked as a geography and business teacher at St Michael’s College from 2001 to 2014.
8. The McWilliams family has four sets of twins, including Greg’s children Archie and Lanarose.
9. In July 2021, he became a high-performance consultant for World Rugby.
10. McWilliams was then appointed Ireland Women head coach in October 2021, replacing Adam Griggs after the team’s failure to qualify for the World Cup in 2022.
He appointed former Ireland captain Niamh Briggs as his assistant coach.
Download the digital edition of Rugby World straight to your tablet or subscribe to the print edition to get the magazine delivered to your door.
Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.