McArdell gets national coach's job
SRU tasks Scotsman to steer men's national 15s side back into Asia's top flight
The Singapore Rugby Union (SRU) yesterday announced the appointment of Scotsman Frazer McArdell as the men's 15s national coach.
Casey Mee and former Singapore international Mark Lee were named assistant coaches while Lincoln Tan - who also played for the Republic - returns as team manager.
McArdell (left) is currently the head coach of SRU Premiership League defending champions Wanderers Rugby Football Club, as well as a personal trainer and the head of sports education at fitness company UFIT Singapore.
He played in Scotland's Under-18s, Under-19s and Under-20s, and was the head coach for amateur UK club Drybrook Rugby Football Club from 2012 to 2015.
He was also a sports lecturer at Hartpury College from 2011 to 2015.
The coaches will work closely with technical director Inoke Afeaki, who was previously the national coach.
Despite the lack of coaching credentials at national level, SRU president Low Teo Ping believes the McArdell has what it takes to guide the men's 15s side back into the Asia Rugby Championship Division 1 in May 2017.
"The appointment was made based on a good number of criteria, such as the ability to coach, technical knowledge, good planning and other capabilities," the veteran sports administrator told The New Paper yesterday.
"There was a meeting of minds and plans, and ambitions would have coincided... so let's look at his results at the end of the season."
The men's team were relegated in May after finishing last among the four Division I teams, and now need to beat the likes of Thailand, India and China to earn promotion.
In a SRU release, McArdell said: "I am humbled to have been appointed head coach of the men 15s national team.
"Rugby is growing rapidly in Singapore and a strong national team will reinforce the amazing rugby culture here.
"The long-term goal will be to see Singapore at the top league in Asia and be competent to challenge Japan and Hong Kong.
"Our first step is to give more game time to the players and to instil pride to play for the nation."
With the domestic five-team SRU Premiership League starting tomorrow, national selectors will be shortlisting names for a national squad, which will train every Monday evening, on top of their club commitments.
While acknowledging the positive results of hosting international tournaments like the HSBC Singapore Rugby 7s and Super Rugby matches, SRU general manager George Danapal said: "More than hosting world-class rugby events and competitions, we want our national team to play good rugby.
"The entire management team is deeply involved and experienced with the Singapore club rugby scene and will be able to bring Singapore rugby up another level."