Meet the Coaches

Lee Phillips (with Maxwell Phillips)

Sub-18 JAGUARs and Sub-16 assistant coach Lee Phillips (above) writes: "I started playing as a schoolboy in Germany. Son to a father who was in the forces it was inevitable. Then moved back to Blighty and came up through the ranks at Henley RFC. Playing county and Divisional rugby before finally making my first team debut. This was followed by stints in the Midlands captaining the University of Worcester team and then moving on to play on Wales for Cardiff Harlequins. I began coaching when I qualified as a PE teacher and have coached schoolboy teams up to u18 as well as county teams for Berkshire. I've now moved to Portugal with my Portuguese wife and 2 boys." 

Sub-10, 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. 



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.

pedro gonçalves

Sub-12/14 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.


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.


 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.”


Mauro Sales

Sub-8 Coach Mauro Sales (above,) writes "I started to play rugby at the age of 18 when studying at Escola Superior Agrária de Coimbra, where I grew to love the game over my time there. Sadly, circumstances then took me away from the game and I didn't touch a Rugby ball for 20 years until opportunity came knocking for me at the age of 42 in the shape of a request to help coaching the St. Julian’s sub-8 team. Being a father of twins (13 year old boys), I will try to pass the passion of rugby to my new "St. Julian's sons".


Mike Torres

Sub-6/18 fitness 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 brings his strength and conditioning skills to the sub-16/18 players.

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.

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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