Meet the Coaches

pedro gonçalves

Sub-18 JAGUARs Coach and Club Technical Director Pedro Gonçalves (above) started his playing career at the age of 9 years old at GD Direito, keeping up the family tradition. During his degree in Physical Education and Sport, he specialised in rugby coaching. He began his coaching career with the sub-10 team at Agronomia and has always been involved in coaching, working in clubs like FCT (Seniors), Belenenses (Sub-17/21) and Benfica (Seniors). He has been involved in the development of youth Rugby with the Associação de Rugby do Sul, working on a groundbreaking project to introduce Tag-Rugby to schools and helping us to establish our own Rugby Club here at St. Julian's in 2006. He has also worked with the Sub-17 National Team and Regional Senior Teams, and has been a speaker/lecturer at several F.P.R. coaching courses, focusing mainly on coaching decision-making. Pedro, who is also the Club's technical director, has been teaching across the secondary curriculum at St. Julian's School since 2011.

Sub-18 Coach and Team Director Pedro Machado (above) joined S.J.R.C. as a sub-16 player and made such an instant impact that several old-timers who thought they'd seen it all before could be observed standing pitch side shaking their heads in disbelief whenever he got the ball. Now as a senior player with the JAGUARs Seniors, his trade-mark Pamplona bull runs continue to send panic through opposition defences. There are some players who were just born to play this game - Pedro is one of them and we were very glad that he decided to stay with us (in spite of the attentions of several other clubs), firstly by becoming a distinguished JAGUAR and then revealing a softer but no less committed side as part of last season's hugely popular and all-conquering Sub-8 coaching team. This season Pedro will be helping with the coaching and management of the Sub-18 JAGUARs team.

Rick Botella
Sub-16 Head Coach Rick Botella (above) grew up playing Rugby in Sydney, representing his school's 1st XV before going on to play for Sydney University colts teams. A premiership and representative honours were gained playing for Sydney Sub Districts XV. After a globe-trotting teaching career, combined with climbing mountains, diving oceans and hiking ridiculous distances, Rick has returned to the peninsula of his father to teach Humanities at St. Julian's. He has coached school Rugby teams in Australia, Argentina, Spain and the Bahamas, and, inevitably, becomes the latest in an illustrious line of S.J.S. Geography teachers to crack the whip on the Rugby pitch.

craig ferris

Sub-16 coach Craig Ferris (above), and science teacher at St. Julian's, writes: "I'm 55 not out and have been involved in rugby most of my life. Growing up in New Zealand it was difficult not to be. I have represented my country at Secondary school level and also captained Hawkes Bay in the national competition in 1986-88. After this I headed to play and coach in Belluno, Italy. From 1989 until 1995 I played for and coached Benfica and more recently have coached Cascais and Belenenses. Working with the young players at St. Julian's has been a fantastic experience."



Sub-16 Coach and Sub-16/18 strength and conditioning guru Tom Rains (above) is also co-founder of St. Julian's Rugby Club and has been very closely involved in the Club's development ever since our first training session in 2006. Tom played first team Rugby for King's School Ely, Newcastle University, North Walsham, Eastern Counties Colts, Norfolk Seniors and, in Portugal for many years, with the Casuals (now JAGUARs Seniors), for whom he proved a tireless and popular captain. Playing in the centre in his hay day, by his own admission Tom was an old-fashioned crash-ball-merchant putting his body on the line whenever required to do so. He remains a fearsome sight in full flow on the training pitch. He has enjoyed much success coaching our teams since 2008 - in stark contrast to most of his jokes, which he continues to tell to whoever is still prepared to listen, regardless of their often considerable lameness. Tom is undoubtedly a huge asset to both St. Julian's School, where he teaches Geography and runs the Outdoor Education programme, and to the Rugby Club. He is very good value too as a Rugby Tourist, indeed he single-handedly organised our first Southern Hemisphere tour to Argentina in June 2011.


Sub-16 Coach Daniel Hubert (above) started his Rugby career at Sixways in England, now home to Worcester Warriors. He played for the 1st XV at King's School, Worcester, before going on to play at county level and to represent Southampton University. In recent years he has carved out a niche for himself as a Casuals (now JAGUARs Seniors) "Enforcer", at least in his own mind, and become a specialist at blurring the line between the footballing codes when it comes to treatment of referees, including, as a matter of fact, the author of this bio. Having had two sons come up through the ranks at the Club, Daniel has inevitably been sucked into the coaching side of things, which it must be said he does with great enthusiasm and no little knowledge, when his activities as an International Man of Mystery permit.


Sub-14 Head Coach Pedro Vital (above) started his playing career at Clube de Rugby de Belas at the age of 12. A level 3 coach of some distinction, Pedro has spent the last few years giving back to the club that introduced him to the sport, initially by coaching at sub-16 and sub-18 levels and then last season as the Belas Senior team Head Coach. Pedro, whose degree is in Sports, was instrumental in establishing the Belas Rugby Academy in 2008 – a project that has introduced the game to many youngsters in the area. Pedro also coached the championship -winning CDUL Sub-16 team last season. We have certainly been very fortunate in securing Pedro’s services as coach of our younger players since 2013. 


Filipe Pereira

Roving Coach Filipe Pereira (above) writes: "I am 26 years old and have played Rugby since I was 15. For me, Rugby is a great teacher. As I was growing up, discovering how to be part of a team and taking on board the other values that the sport promotes, was really important for me. Not giving up when things get demanding and giving of yourself to help the team are now a big part of my life, thanks to Rugby. I began my playing career at Belas Rugby Clube, and have played at senior level with Sport Lisboa Benfica and CDUL. I have been fortunate enough to be involved with two championshio winning teams and have been honoured to represent Portugal as well."


Rob Delai


Roving coach Rob Delai (above) writes: “Bula Vinaka and hello everyone. My name is Robert Patrick Waqabaca Delai. I am 31 years of age and am currently playing with the Agronomia Rugby Club here in Portugal. I have being playing rugby from a very young age. The highlights of my rugby career have been being drafted to play for the Fiji Warriors squad and also being able to come and play here in Portugal. Growing up in the Island of Fiji we have always loved the sport of Rugby. Rugby has played a vital part of my upbringing. Although being a really physical sport there are also valuable lessons to be learnt while playing this sport. The importance of team-work, trust, self-belief, etc. that one can learn from and apply to our works of life. These are some of the very things that I wish to not only share with the kids but most of all have fun as well playing and coaching them. I am really looking forward to the challenge of coaching in St. Julian’s.”



Sub-14 Coach Lorne King (above) has become something of a legend in his short time with the Club, and indeed single-handedly pulled off the SJRC coup of the decade by first organising the South African "Springbok Legends" tour of Portugal and then persuading them to spend an unforgettable morning at St. Julian's with our players. He writes: “Having been born in Scotland, football and other sports vied for my early attention. It was only at the age of nine when I moved to South Africa that Rugby appeared on the horizon. Soon afterwards I began to play Rugby for Athlone Boys High School in Johannesburg. Later I located down to Cape Town and played as a lock forward for False Bay Rugby Club. Here I also played in the annual Cape Town Rugby Tens festival - a Rugby highlight for all amateur players in South Africa, as this is where the true spirit of Rugby friendship is exemplified. From 2009-2013 I taught at Western Province Preparatory School in Cape Town. I also coached Rugby at the school to players from the age of 5 to 13 years old. At this time I also attended the South African Rugby Unions Bok Smart program that all coaches and referees have to participate in.”


Sub-14 Coach and team manager Luís Costa (above) has joined the Sub-14 coaching team in 2010, having previously coached the Sub-16 team at Belas and is passionate about his rugby. A fanatical Wasps supporter, Luís played senior rugby in Portugal and France, before pursuing his coaching career (IRB Level 3 coach). He runs his own business in Carcavelos, which involves a fair bit of international travel, but whenever he's around he helps out with the sub-14 training and at match time.


Ricardo Vieira

Sub-12 Head Coach Ricardo Vieira (above) writes: "Descobri o Rugby aos 12 anos, após ter deixado Basquetebol, Ténis e Judo para trás. Iniciei o meu percurso no Belas Rugby Clube, onde fiz grandes amigos e conheci as pessoas que me forneceram os pilares da modalidade. Aos 16 anos subi a Sénior, cedo de mais, e 1 ano depois matriculava-me na ULHT para frequentar a licenciatura em treino desportivo, com especialização em Rugby. Neste período iniciei-me como treinador, com 1 época no clube que me havia formado com os sub-10 e sub-12, seguindo depois para os Belenenses Rugby, onde fiquei por 7 épocas nos sub-16, e aprendi e dei o salto como treinador e uma experiência enquanto coordenador da formação. Fui muito feliz, e tive possibilidade de trabalhar com os mais variados atletas, que conquistaram dentro e fora de campo vitórias, e aprenderam dentro e fora dele o que retirar das derrotas. Neste período conquistámos 2 taças de Portugal, 2 campeonatos Nacionais, algumas finais do Portugal Youth Festival e, acima de tudo, o sucesso nacional e internacional de vários atletas nos escalões de formação, e consequentemente, nos seniores, dentro da modalidade e fora dela. Após este período, comecei a treinar os escalões de Sub-16 do SLB, tendo novamente a oportunidade de aprender com atletas em circunstâncias e realidades diferentes, dedicados e apaixonados pela modalidade. Para além do Rugby, fui professor de Educação Física e sou Personal Trainer, e é com muito gosto que vou agora descobrir novas aventuras junto do St. Julian’s e dos seus atletas!"


Sérgio Rodrigues
Sub-12 Coach Sérgio Rodrigues (above) writes: "I am a 38 year old father of two boys and a girl, and am passionate about Rugby. Unfortunately, I started to play Rugby very late, at the age of 21, but I learned eagerly and was able to proudly wear the RC Oeiras, FCT and CDUL jerseys! Now, after spending the last 10 years working in Africa (I'm a mechanical engineer), it's time to learn more about Rugby with St. Julian’s sub-12 squad, helping with everything I can. Thank you for the opportunity!” 

Sub-12 Coach Olivier Armand (above) was raised in the French area of Brive, where Rugby is something close to a religion. After playing in the youth divisions, he joined Le Stade Français when the club was still in third division, and played there for three seasons, before joining Maison-Lafitte in second division for two years. He was forced to an early retirement by his career as a fighter pilot, but the passion for rugby has never left him. A firm believer in the values of the game, as a school for life, he will be helping at weekend games with the sub-12 squad.


Sub-10 Head Coach and sub-8/10/12 Coordinator João Marvão (above) began playing rugby in Belenenses at the age of 12 and has been involved with the game ever since. He is the chairman of RC Oeiras and has played and coached their senior team during several seasons over the past 16 years. João´s connection to St. Julian`s is very strong because spent 8 years as a student at the school, becoming house captain of Etherington-Smith. João has previously coached our sub-16 squad and is a father of Martim who plays in our sub-10 team. His aim is to train young players with the principles of the game and with the St. Julian's spirit.


Rodrigo Martinez

Sub-10 Coach Rodrigo Martinez (above) started playing Rugby at age 22 at RC Oeiras. Since then, his connection to the game has always been growing. His role will be decisive as he will assist as a coach of the sub-10 players, as well as being responsible for the video and statistics for the Sub-8/10/12. He will also be involved in the club as a player for the JAGUARs Séniores. Rodrigo's personal goal is to pass on Rugby values that he has learned over the years to the younger players of the club.


 Andy O'Driscoll

Originally from Dublin, sub-10 coach Andy O’Driscoll (above, left) grew up supporting his provincial club Leinster, in Ireland. After a number of junior schools Rugby matches with De La Salle Raheny, Andy had to accept that he would not be challenging Brian for the title of the best O’Driscoll to ever play the game, but has retained a love for the game ever since. Andy’s involvement in St. Julian’s Rugby Club came as a result of the shared passion for the game that he has with his son Manuel, who currently plays for the sub-12 team. Heavily involved in a variety of physical team sports throughout his life, Andy wants to pass on that passion and commitment to the future of Rugby in Portugal, through helping out with the sub-10 coaching at St. Julian’s.


Mariavittoria Maratea

Sub-8 Head Coach Mariavittoria Maratea (above, centre) writes: "When I started playing rugby, I immediately felt a new strength emerging, one that I didn’t even know I possessed. Rugby teaches us to go on in the game, as in Life. It teaches us to trust in our team-mates and to strive to achieve our goals and to get up when you get knocked down - never to give up. My first contact with Rugby was at the University Foro Italico - Roma, where I graduated in Physical Education and Sport. I still remember the first Rugby training session - I knew hardly anything about this sport and had no idea what to do, but felt welcomed, valued and inspired. I discovered that Rugby made me free and strong and I thought, "I’d LOVE the children to feel all this. I have to learn well, so I can pass it on!" And so it was that after a year of theory and practice, I started an internship in Frascati Rugby, with the U8 players and then the following year I ran the U6 team - an unforgettable experience. I taught the children, but above all I learned so much from them. They are the engine that moves the world! That is why I think all children (boys and girls) should have the opportunity to play rugby; to know their endless possibilities and that what they think and create is not impossible, but that with hard work and overcoming the obstacles that Life will put in front of them, they will be able to build their future.”


Mike Torres

Sub-8 coach Mike Torres (above) started his coaching career last season as assistant coach to the successful sub-14 squad, which included his son Tristan. Both Mike and Tristan were new to the game, but, with their American Football backgrounds, they soon got the hang of things and by the end of the season both were firing on all cylinders. Having coached the other oval-ball game in the States, Mike is passionate about team contact sports and is already a big fan of Rugby union. This season he takes on the massive challenge of coaching the sub-8s, but will be on hand to help out with the sub-16s too from time to time.

Kristian Aboud

Sub-8/10/12 Coach Kristian Aboud “Gap snaffler” coach Kristian Aboud (above, left) played club Rugby, mainly in the back row, for 17 years in Australia, Africa, America, and Europe and then on-and-off for another 7 years. He lists among his career highlights as playing for the Australian Defence Force Academy and both the World Barbarians and Australia in the 2003/2007 Parliamentary Rugby World Cups. He has been on Rugby tours around the world and credits the game for providing him with a ready-made group of friends wherever he travels. He has coached u12, u13, u14 teams in Australia, as well as several adult teams in US as player/coach. He has begun producing a Rugby team at home, with five boys - three of whom play for St. Julian’s. Kristian performs the vitally important function of helping out without whingeing wherever he is needed, as gaps occur and his availability allows.


Richard Sirley

"Gap snaffler" coach Richard Sirley (above) writes: “I was born in Kenya and played at Impala club as a young schoolboy in Nairobi. Later at boarding school in the UK (Sherborne in Dorset) I played for the 1st XV for the last 2 years of school as an outside centre. At U18 level I represented the Dorset & Wilts, Southern Counties and South of England teams and got to the Final Trial for England schoolboys. Life as a commercial pilot sadly then prevented any further serious involvement in Rugby as a player. Although my career resumed while working in Malaysia, where I played for the Miri Rugby Club in Sarawak and was part of the winning team at the the Panaga Sevens tournament in Brunei in the early 90s! Casual Rugby since then has proved to be a bit of an uphill struggle for the old body and I have become a bit of a chicken these days. I have spent years trying to persuade both my daughters to play Rugby - the youngest one is currently working on her side-step and hand-off. I enjoy kite surfing and had a lot of fun helping out with St. Julian's Sub14s a couple of years ago. I am really looking forward to helping out again whenever I am around.” 

sérgio almeida

Sub-8 Coach Sérgio Almeida (above) writes: "All my life I have practiced sports and I hope to continue like that. Rugby is one of my favorites since it develops team play, cooperation and respect. The appeal of Rugby is based on the pleasure of participating in games where you have to trust your guts and your team. This is the reality I find in St. Julian’s Rugby and in which I find a great pride and pleasure to be part of it. I hope to contribute with the best that I can offer.” Sérgio, who teaches science in the Portuguese Section at St. Julian's School, loves his Rugby and has been a big fan of ours since our foundation. He has a rare knack of communicating with our younger players both his enthusiasm and understanding of the game's fundamentals.


Miguel Sancho

Occasional coach Miguel Sancho (above) began his rugby playing career at the age of 16 with CF os Belenenses, a club that he represented with some distinction at first team level in all age-groups, and for whose veterans' side he still makes the occasional appearance amongst the forwards. As a long haul pilot for SATA, Miguel had plenty of opportunity to accompany his son Diogo to training with St. Julian's, with the inevitable result of being roped into helping out with the coaching. It turned out to be an experience which he thoroughly enjoyed and that gave him the chance to give something back to the game that he loves. He followed this up by taking the Level 1 coaching course in 2010, and will be helping with coaching when his flight schedule permits.


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