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Hickie Arrives at Navy, Lauds Opportunity

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Hickie Arrives at Navy, Lauds Opportunity

Navy's new rugby facility is one of the things that impressed the program's new coach. Colleen McCoskey photo.

Former Dartmouth Head Coach Gavin Hickie is now on the job at Navy, and the new USNA Men's Rugby Head Coach said there is no magic formula for winning.

"We will have to work extremely hard to get to where we want to be," said the former Premiership pro and current Collegiate All American Head Coach. "Working closely with our Firsties, our alums and our athletic department, we will establish our future plans. I firmly believe our potential is almost limitless. Collegiate rugby continues to grow and there has never been a more exciting time to be a young rugby player in the U.S."

Hickie said this in an interview with the Navy Rugby Alumni Association.

Longtime Navy Coach Mike Flanagan Leaving

During the interview, Hickie hailed Navy Rugby's "bold step forward," referring to the building of a new rugby complex at Annapolis, and more backing being put into the program.

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"I am here to facilitate that forward movement and I am extremely excited to do so," said Hickie. "I am a rugby guy through and through. My family’s blood runs rugby. My father played rugby for Ireland in the 1970s, my cousin is Ireland’s most capped wing and I have represented Ireland at various levels. I have been very fortunate to represent teams outside of Ireland. I have always relished moving out of my comfort zone and in doing so, have represented London Irish, Worcester and Leicester Tigers. There is nothing more satisfying then pulling on a jersey and instantly being made feel you belong. Tigers did this for me and gave me a deep appreciation for hard graft, honesty and team-work. I carry these experiences with me today."

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Hickie said he's thrilled to be a part of the Navy Rugby. He first visited the Academy in 2013 with Dartmouth.

"I was blown away," he said. "It was and still remains a humbling experience to read the names and locations of our battles throughout history, around the stadium. Something stirred inside me that day and has been part of me ever since. To be able to call the Naval Academy my home stirs deep emotions within me."