As we head into 2014, Boston 13s are pleased to announce that Robin Peers is staying on in his role as Head Coach for the coming season.
There had been some speculation that Peers would devote more of his time to a more managerial role now that owner Mik Shammas has returned to his homeland Lebanon, but Peers confirmed his commitment to the head coach role in a recent chat with our media manager Danny Roberts.
“Mik Shammas brought me to the 13s in 2012 to be his Head Coach and I still have a burning desire to win a national championship for the 13s and the city of Boston. We went close to that in 2012 (losing 28-22 to the Jacksonville Axemen in the Championship Game) before Mik’s departure threw our ship off course in 2013. We have big plans in place for 2014 and I’d like to think we have a shot at winning it all this coming summer”
Peers’ background is in the UK where he played 218 professional games over his career. He was employed by the Rugby Football League as a Talent Coach for the North East region and delivered coaching courses as part of this role. He was involved in two different coach education projects for the Rugby League European Federation, one of which is where he met the 13s Mik Shammas.
Roberts asked Peers the following questions about his plans for 2014:
DR: How is the squad shaping up for 2014?
RP: Our squad is shaping up nicely. Working with Dustin Cooper (Captain & Assistant Coach) we identified three areas to focus on for our 2014 recruitment; Retain the players that showed commitment and effort during the 2013 season, re-recruit a number of guys that played for us in previous seasons, and bring in quality new players that can help us win a championship. All three areas are going well and we are confident we’ll have a strong squad for round one.
DR: Do you have any foreign guys coming in?
RP: We’ve recruited guys from overseas, some that we have been talking to for over 18 months now. They are very very excited about coming to America, pulling on the Boston 13s jersey and helping to develop Rugby League here.
DR: Who are you most excited to see in a Boston 13s jersey in 2013?
RP: That is a very tough question Danny! There are a few guys I could mention but three players come to mind straight away.
Shane Begin (Dorchester, MA) had a break out year in 2012, and was a big reason we went so well. Missing last season due to injury was disappointing, but he worked tirelessly with Dustin on the practice field and finished the year off in spectacular fashion when he represented the USA Tomahawks against Canada in Philadelphia. Having an international representative in our ranks will really boost the team’s confidence, and the fact that Shane is jumping out of his skin to play is even better!
Ryan Forgione (Haverhill, MA) who is a 6’4″ winger who is a huge handful for defenses when running at pace. I’m very excited to see him receiving the ball in space on the back of a dominant forward pack.
Elijah Brewer (Grove Hall, MA) who came to us towards the back end of the 2013 season. He made his debut at second row against eventual champions Philadelphia and held his own physically against them and also Jacksonville in his other appearance. Anyone that knows Rugby League in the USA knows that these teams are built on strong forward packs and Elijah matched and dominated a lot of these veteran players. What I have forgot to mention is that both of these guys are still teenagers. I see a big future for both and possibly USA Tomahawks representation in the future if they reach the huge potential that they possess.
DR: Do you have any support staff to support the coaching?
RP: For the last 2 years Dustin has assisted with the coaching but we are always looking to for ways to improve our performance where we can. Over the coming weeks I will be speaking to some quality coaches (League & Union) that I think could come in and make a positive impact with our boys. These guys will be especially important during our preseason when Dustin is in France playing with his club Lezignan XIII.