Today the Milwaukee Barbarians are proud to announce that Ewan O’Donnell has signed on to be the new Assistant Head Coach for the forthcoming rugby sevens season.
O’Donnell is a cross-code rugby athlete and played on numerous union and league sides throughout his career. He joins retired international Munster Rugby alumni Dominic Crotty who serves as Head Coach for the sevens program.
The Early Years
Hailing from Troon in the West of Scotland, O’Donnell began his rugby career at age 5 with the Marr Rugby Mini Section program and in Junior High School represented the West of Scotland Juniors.
Attending High School at Strathallan on a rugby scholarship, he played on the select-side Under 14, U16, and U18 programs for the Caledonia Reds and finished off School with a tour of Australia in 2003.
Prior to college he returned to Australia and played for Brother’s RFC in Townsville.
University and the switch to rugby league
After returning to Scotland, O’Donnell attended the Edinburgh Napier University. He played with Edinburgh Academicals in the Scottish Premiership as well as the university Club before switching to rugby league.
O’Donnell’s league experience is also filled with select-side appearances and impressive accomplishments. He was capped at District, Student and A level for Scotland and played for Edinburgh Eagles in the Challenge cup.
In 2007, he was selected to play against France in Perpignan at the Stade Gilbert Brutus which he describes as his biggest achievement on the rugby pitch.
O’Donnell also played in the British regions tournament for Scotland, before earning a place in the squad for Scotland A during the 5 nations tournament. Still at university, he was also included in the Scottish Students Squad for the World Cup in 2008.
Post-graduate return to union
In 2008, O’Donnell graduated with Honors in Marketing and Communications and returned to rugby union playing three years with the Murrayfield Wanderers in Scotland’s first division.
In 2012 O’Donnell moved to the United States and began coaching. For the past 3 seasons he has served as Assistant Coach with Muskego High School boys rugby program.
He also serves as Assistant Coach for the Wisconsin High School Boys select side.
“As a utility back with a lot of experience at outside half and in the centers, Ewan is a great fit for the Sevens rugby program in Milwaukee,” said Barbarians president Victor Drover. “We are really pleased he’s made time to help mould the next generation of Milwaukee rugby athletes at the Barbarians.
When asked about the appointment, O’Donnell replied in typical rugby fashion: “Looking forward to getting stuck in!”
Joining the Milwaukee rugby sevens scene
The Barbarians sevens program is a vibrant and growing program open to all athletes. They offer dual programs for National-calibre Athletes as well as new athletes and those who prefer to play rugby socially and at local events.
Full details can be found on the official program press release.