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Joe Barker to step down as Head Coach of Kowloon RFC

Updated: May 12, 2023

Joe has played an integral part in the recent growth and development of DAC Kowloon RFC. Joe first moved to Hong Kong in 2019, taking on a player-coach role, where he worked closely with the U18 Academy and played for the Men’s Premiership team. Joe quickly adapted to Hong Kong life and initially assisted with the Men’s Premiership team. Fast forward two years and he was more than ready to take on the responsibility of Head Coach for the Men’s Premiership team and provide leadership to the coaching team from the U18 Academy through to the Premiership.

During his time as Head Coach, Joe has adopted a club wide approach and focussed on developing a structure with clear pathways to nurture our youngest members. This has seen a number of home-grown talent from our development program progress into Premiership rugby. Joe has also played a key role in progressing the women’s game at Kowloon RFC, actively working alongside Terry Sibanda (Women’s Head Coach) to expand women’s rugby in Hong Kong. The coaching style and attitude that Joe has instilled in the club has not only aided the development of countless players and coaches, but has also forged a unified club culture which makes DAC Kowloon RFC such a special place to play rugby.

Joe will take up a new role as Talent Development and Transition Coach for the Hong Kong Rugby Union. The role will focus on developing Hong Kong China Qualified players both in Hong Kong and overseas - a great opportunity for Joe to work alongside future Hong Kong China rugby players. His first major task will be preparing the squad for the U20 Junior World Trophy campaign which returns for the first time since 2019. The tournament will be held in Kenya (15-30 July 2023) and will feature some of the world’s best young talents. We wish Joe and the U20 Hong Kong China team the best of luck for this tournament!

We caught up with Joe and he said, “I can’t thank Kowloon enough for what they have done for me; moved me across to the other side of the world and looked after me and my wife. The club has a special place in my heart and I have some incredible memories here. It’s full of people that enjoy rugby and being involved in such an amazing sport. So many people put a lot of hours in behind the scenes to help this club. I look forward to this new opportunity with the HKRU and I hope to have the opportunity to pull on a Kowloon shirt again next season”.

We are forever grateful for Joe’s support over the years and while it is always sad to say goodbye, Joe has left the club in a much stronger position. We will ensure that the right coach is in place by early June 2023 to continue the hard work over this coming season.


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