THE MIRFC CURRENTLY FIELDS ONE SENIOR WOMEN'S TEAM PLAYING
FIFTEEN-A-SIDE RUGBY & PARTICIPATING IN SEVENS TOURNAMENTS
the team plays in the Development League of the Quebec & Eastern Ontario Rugby Union
COACHING & SUPPORT
In order to continue to develop and flourish, the Montreal Irish ensure that only the best coaches and athletic therapists are made available to its players. Coaches and at least two athletic therapists are present at every practice and game. The Club also encourages player-lead coaching initiatives, contributing to our vision of teamwork and to the development of lasting relationships.
ERIN BENZAKEIN, Head Coach
Erin has been coaching rugby since 2005. She has been on the coaching staff for the Montreal Irish women’s team since 2015, becoming the head coach in 2016. From 2011 to 2017, Erin was the assistant coach and one of the founders of the Cegep Andre Laurendeau men’s team. Later in 2017, she also assisted with the first ever women’s program at the Cegep.
Between 2004 and 2014, Erin represented Quebec at the U18, U23, and Sr levels as a player. She was member of the leadership committee for the 2013 National Championship winning squad and captained the team in 2014. Erin began playing for the Montreal Irish women in 2002. In her time with the club, she was captain of the women’s side for many years and played in 6 cup finals.
As coach, Erin uses a player centered methodology, encouraging players to give one another feedback and to constantly self-assess. She believes it is vital that players understand the “why”s as much as the “how”s of playing rugby. Erin believes that for a team to be successful, the players must learn to the love the game, to love their team, and love each other. She places this philosophy at the center of her coaching.
CRAIG MCDEVITT, Forwards Coach
Craig has coached almost every year since 2000, when his playing career ended. Most years, Craig has coached more than one team and, occasionally, as many as 3 during the same season.
He has coached at almost every level; U6, U8, U10, U12, and High School to Sr. Men’s/Women’s Club and Sr. Provincial Men’s/Women’s teams. During his time coaching Sr. Qc. Provincial teams, he has worked closely with almost 30 players who have gone on to represent Canada in Sr. National teams. His achievements include:
2018 Concordia Women's Forwards coach
2002, 2003, 2004 MIRFC Men’s Head coach - Provincial Div 2 Champs in ‘04
2015, 2016, 2018 MIRFC Women’s Forwards coach
2000 Québec Sr. Women Forwards coach - National Champs
2001 Québec Sr. Women Forwards coach - National Champs
2002 and 2003, Québec Sr. Women Head coach - 3rd in ‘03
2009, 2010, 2011 Québec Sr. Women Head coach – 3rd in ‘10
2015 and 2016, Québec Sr. Men’s Forwards coach
2001 National Women’s team Selector (Tight-five) pre-World Cup evaluation camp
JENN BRANDER, Assistant Coach
Jenn has been playing rugby since 2002 and coaching since 2008. She has coached high school boys and girls, as well as university women– all of which are from her home province New Brunswick.
Jenn’s rugby career escalated quickly, playing U19 provincially at the age of 13. At 15, Jenn was selected to represent at the national level for U19 Canada. In university, Jenn had the opportunity to travel and play with an East coast all-star team; she has also gone on tour to play senior women’s rugby in England and Wales.
Jenn has shared the field with and against some of the nation’s best players, and believes firmly that the best way to improve your game is to learn from your peers. As a player and coach, Jenn believes strongly in the core values of teamwork, respect, enjoyment, sportsmanship and, most importantly, discipline.
WHERE & WHEN
OUTDOOR SENIOR PRACTICES TAKE PLACE AT PARC
DE L'AQUEDUCT DE MONTRÉAL ON TUESDAYS & THURSDAYS FROM 6:15 PM TO 8:15 PM
INDOOR PRACTICE DETAILS ARE RELEASED
SEASONALLY, TYPICALLY STARTING IN FEBRUARY