The Jacksonville Axemen have secured the services of a Level 3 National Rugby League (NRL) Qualified coach with the 2015 season, who will also deliver coaching certification courses to a number of domestic USA coaches during the season.
Wayne Forbes has an extensive background as a player, Strength & Conditioning coach, as well as Head Coach at a number of well-known teams in Australia. Wayne started playing Rugby League at a young age in the Canberra region and was a member of Canberra Raiders (NRL) youth development teams until a knee injury ended his playing career at an early age.
Wayne continued his passion for the game and focused on becoming a coach, and has had more than a decade of taking teams into playoffs, and winning championships. Most recently he has served as the Head Coach for the Burleigh Bears who are based in the Gold Coast region of Queensland, as well as the coach for the youth development team for the Gold Coast Titans (NRL). He has also coached a number of representative teams in the Canberra and Australian Capital Territory competitions with great success.
In addition to his Level 3 coaching certification, Wayne is also a certified Strength & Conditioning coach and the Axemen are looking for Wayne to continue to increase the level of performance that has been on a consistent raise since Sean Rutgerson left his fitness culture as a coach in 2009. The 2014 season saw Matt Keeley take the Axemen into their 5th National Championship game in 6 years, and Wayne Forbes is determined to return the Trophy to Jacksonville in 2015.
Another part of Waynes duties will be to deliver Level 1 Coaching Certifications programs to all four teams in the Southern Conference of the USA Rugby League. “Part of our commitment to growing Rugby League is to ensure that all teams have an opportunity to increase their level of play,” said Southeastern Rugby League director Spinner Howland. “For the game to continue to progress in the standard of play and increase the level of athletes playing it, we must invest in having high level coaches leading teams. Wayne will use his knowledge as a Head Coach and Strength Coach, to pass on top level approaches to the assisting staff at the Axemen, and the coaching teams at the Mayhem, Warriors and Rhinos during the summer.”
The Axemen have foregone a third import player to be able to host Wayne as a dedicated coach for the 2015 season. “We feel we have ample talent in our domestic guys to bring a championship to Jacksonville without needing the full allocation of allowed imports players,” said Axemen GM Drew Slover. “We also embrace the vision of improving the level of play across all teams in the USA, and although our priority is winning the Championship, having someone of Waynes ability and experience will cultivate an advanced level of coaching across all teams, and that is a great step forward in our conference, and for the sport in the USA.”
“Southeastern Rugby League has a duty to deliver the highest level of Rugby League we can to our fans, and producing the quality of players and the high level play needed comes down to the quality of our coaches,” said Spinner Howland. “Of course the Axemen expect Wayne to deliver them a Championship winning team, but they also realize that raising the level of play across all teams will improve the product they deliver to their fans. The Axemen have a proven record of investing in sport of Rugby League in the USA and this is just one more commitment to that list. We must also recognize Wayne Forbes for his commitment to growing the sport in the USA. Taking the time away from his family and current coaching opportunities is no small effort, and we will ensure that his time in the USA is as positive as possible both for him and the development of Rugby League.”
Axemen training camp is slated for the weekend of May 8/9/10 and full details will be released very soon.