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Joe Walsh appointed

Posted: April 4, 2024
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Pirates Appoint ‘No Ordinary Joe’

Following recent news confirming that coach Louie Tonkin has accepted a role with Ealing Trailfinders and will be leaving the club at the end of this season, the Cornish Pirates can advise that Joe Walsh has been appointed in his place in readiness for the start of the 2024/25 campaign.

Irishman Joe, aged just 24, initially played rugby before transitioning to coaching and management in 2015. He spent the first few years of his coaching career working across youth, womens, and junior men’s rugby, before stepping into the schoolssystem, including being senior head coach at Kings Hospital School, Dublin.

Other roles have seen Joe coach under 20s level at MU Barnhall RFC, whilst more recently he received his Master’s degree in sports performance analysis, and coached under 20s at Buccaneers RFC in Athlone. Also, in January 2024, he was appointed Director of Rugby in Catholic University School in Dublin, a rugby-playing secondary school with over 500 students, where he implemented a rugby programme and coaching methodology for the entire school.

Having also worked as a Performance Analyst for the Poland national team for the 2023 Rugby Europe Championship, and as Head of Performance Analysis in Rugby Academy Ireland, Joe coached the Leinster U17s schools last summer, and has worked weekly since July with a regional Leinster U17 club group. 

Noting the above, plus his qualifications that include MSc Sports Performance Analysis, IRFU Stage 4/Performance Coach Award, and World Rugby Coach Educator, Joe is clearly no ordinary Joe!

Speaking with reference to Joe’s appointment with the Cornish Pirates, joint head coach Alan Paver said:

“We have engaged with Joe over a good number of weeks. He will arrive highly recommended, mainly through Louie (Tonkin), who felt his knowledge, enthusiasm, energy, and already experience for a young man, would suit, as he sought an opportunity in the professional game.

“So, for us we see his appointment as a good fit. He has the right personality, and from our perspective we are delighted to welcome him. He clearly has an incredible mind, and with his attention to detail, enthusiasm, energy, and ability to take on more than one aspect of coaching, is quite unique.

“We are really looking forward to getting Joe into the environment and the meat and potato of it, and he is already coming up with new ideas.”