The 94th Annual General Meeting of Navan Rugby Football Club took place on the evening of
Thursday 8th June in the clubhouse at Balreask Old.
Over the course of the meeting, club members were given a review of the previous twelve months
of the club’s activities both on and off the pitch.
Reviewing on-field activities, outgoing Director of Rugby Niall Hennessy reflected on the
performance of all senior adult teams over the course of the season.
Among the highlights was the achievement of being able to consistently field four adult Men’s
teams across national & provincial competitions and to see our Senior Women’s team consolidate
after gaining promotion the previous season.
Looking forward Hennessy commented that the structures put in place this past season will better
enable youth players to transition from youths to adult rugby and with the new coaching
appointment in Women’s rugby the hope that next season Navan RFC will be able to field a
second Women’s team for the very first time reflecting the overall positive growth of Women’s/Girls
Rugby as the club gets closer to its “Centenary Season” in 2024/2025.
The following members were then elected to the Club Executive Committee as club officers for the
President Damien Dixon
Club Chairman Brendan Farrell
Deputy-President Scott Ennis
Honorary Secretary Paul McEvoy
Honorary Treasurer Kieran Walsh
Director of Rugby John Duffy
Marketing John Coen
Youths Coordinator Jane McSherry
Premises & Grounds David Cullivan
Bar Ray Hannon
Social Barry Keeley
Senior Men’s Captain Sean McEntaggart
Mini Coordinator Thanuja Dharmasena
Women’s Rugby Nour Khairy
Membership & Ticket Secretary Eddie Lyons
Commenting on their election, newly installed Club President Damien Dixon spoke about how
much of an honour it was to be elected Club President of Navan RFC and how it was a club for
everyone involved in the club while also paying tribute to his predecessor and outgoing President
Senior Women’s Head Coach Appointment
Navan Rugby Football Club are delighted to announce the appointment of former Irish International & Navan native Jackie Shiels as their Senior Women’s Head Coach for the 2023/2024 season.
Shiels arrives in Balreask Old with a career in rugby that includes 28 Caps for Ireland between
2008-2016 (including being a part of the Irish squads for the Rugby World Cup in 2010 & 2014 and
the team that won the Six Nations in 2015) as well as being on the first Women’s team fielded by
the Barbarians FC when playing Munster in 2017.
Most recently Jackie was part of the Blackrock College team that won the Energia All-Ireland
League Women’s Division this past season.
Commenting on the appointment, incoming Navan RFC Club President Damien Dixon commented:
“I am absolutely delighted to have someone of Jackie’s stature and experience within the game
coming into the club. As a club we are excited with the potential of our Senior Women’s Rugby on
the back of a highly successful youth structure that has produced players achieving both Provincial
& National representative Honours”.
Speaking on her new role, Shiels said: “I am very excited about rejoining the Club that introduced
me to the game. I am aware of the strong history it has in womens rugby and the talent the club
has produced. I see the strength of the current women’s team and the underage system. I am keen
to support these players reach their potential both in an NRFC Jersey and hopefully beyond.”.
Navan RFC Senior Women’s team completed last season coming third in Leinster Women’s
Division 4, their first season in that division after winning promotion by coming first in Leinster
Women’s Division 5 in 2022.
Senior Men’s Head Coach Appointment
At the Navan RFC AGM, it was also confirmed that former Leinster, Connacht, London Irish &
Bristol player and Navan Men’s assistant coach Jason Harris-Wright has been appointed Senior
Men’s Head Coach for the 2023/2024 season.
Jason has been involved previously as an assistant coach handling the forwards and the
breakdown, for both Castleknock College’s Senior Cup Team and Navan Senior Men’s for the last
Prior to that Harris-Wright enjoyed a professional playing career that began in the Leinster Rugby
Academy in 2009 moving up to a full contract in 2010/2011 where he would make 17 appearances
for Leinster (including appearances in Europe against Racing 92 (twice), Saracens and coming on
as a substitute for Leinster’s famous 2011 Heineken Cup Final comeback win over Northampton
Saints in Cardiff.
The rest of the playing journey included stops at Bristol (2011-2012), Connacht (2012-2016),
London Irish (2016-2017) and Bristol again (2017-2018) before transitioning from playing to
coaching when a year with the Houston SabreCats to play in Major League Rugby turned into
coaching for the season in the United States.