Head Coach Selected for USARL Women
The US Association of Rugby League Incorporated (USARL Inc) Womens Committee and Coaching Director Peter Illfield selected Adrian “Ady” Cooney from a list of formidable candidates to the Head Coach position for the Women’s National Team. Cooney and the Team are looking to make international commitments leading into the Americas Championship 2023 and Rugby League World Cup 2025 (RLWC2025).
Cooney made his appearance as interim Head Coach upon the inaugural test match for the WNT earlier this year against the Canada Ravens in Burnaby, British Columbia. Cooney came into the role with 22 years of playing experience, and 8 years’ coaching experience - four of which are the dual role of head coach for both men’s and women’s teams for the LA Mongrel, based out of Southern California.
Upon appointment, Cooney stated, “I am very keen to build off the Inaugural test match against the Ravens and to help develop the skills and education of the game within the group.” He continues, “ We have a very committed group of women driving the next evolution of the game in America and I see a time where we have a competitive national competition that provides structured pathways for talented and committed women to play at the highest levels of the game. Our ultimate goal is not just to qualify, but to compete with the best international teams at the 2025 World Cup.”
Cooney appointed Ben Calverley as assistant coach and to head development squads on tours. Calverley, with 16+ years of playing experience and with four years of coaching under his belt, founded two women’s clubs in his coaching career, showing his dedication to women participation in rugby league.
Calverley states,"The level of commitment and dedication [of the women's players] is brilliant, and we need to make sure the national environment reflects that and provides the best pathway for them to succeed."
Currently, Calverley holds the dual role of head coach for both men’s and women’s teams for the San Diego Barracudas, also based out of Southern California.
Both coaches were born and raised in the UK, and are eager to foster a domestic competition to bolster the momentum from the inaugural test match against the Canada Ravens this past April. Cooney would like to further explore the development of rugby league within the United States and will champion the efforts as he is “confident that with the introduction of a domestic season will see more competition for players at an international stage.”
Cooney and Calverley provide their rugby league experience and coaching talents to make the WNT a household name in Rugby League. Welcome officially to the program, Ady and Ben!