Pat Lynott hired as new assistant coach for men’s rugby

Former Gael’s star talks to The Journal about his new role

Pat Lynott is returning to Nixon Field

Queen’s Men’s Rugby has welcomed back a former front-row player as their new assistant coach—Patrick Lynott, ArtSci ’19.

In an interview with The Journal, Lynott spoke about his journey with Rugby as a whole and stated his main goal as a coach is to share his perspective about the game and that current players use his expertise to grow.

Lynott began his rugby career at age ten, playing for local leagues in his hometown of Chelsea, Quebec. As he grew older, Lynott continued to develop his rugby skills in high school.

Discussing his early years with the sport, Lynott shared why rugby, in particular, spoke to him.

“I loved that rugby is the ultimate team sport […]it’s such a diverse game that requires a lot of different skill sets and body types, and you need that to be successful,” he said.

When it came time for post-secondary options, Lynott said that attending Queen’s was a no-brainer.

 “[Queen’s] rugby program is unparalleled in Canada.”

When he ultimately ended up attending Queen’s, Lynott flourished. From 2015 to 2018, he helped the men’s team win three separate OUA championship titles and one U Sports silver medal. During that time, he was also a three-time OUA all-star and named a First Team All-Canadian in 2018.

Speaking to his overall experience as a student-athlete, Lynott said he had the best time anyone could likely ask for.

“[It was] Probably my most favourite time of my life,” he said.

“The environment that Queen’s allows you to have with the gym and the high performance center, […] the support for academics, […] the best infrastructure for the field and equipment, […] it was an incredible time.”

Since graduating, Lynott has been playing professional rugby for the Toronto Arrows. However, when his contract with the team ended a short time ago, and an assistant coach spot opened up here at Queen’s, Lynott said it was an easy decision for him to try and work alongside his former head coach, David Butcher.

Since Lynott was a front-row player himself, his role as the assistant coach is primarily to work with the forward positions. But as he told The Journal, it’s no easy task transitioning from player to coach.

“It’s all very new to me. Not everyone reacts to information or how it’s presented [in the same way], and that’s very unique to coaching,” he explained.

“It’s all about trying to […]phrase the information you’re trying to get across so that [the players] can wrap their head around it.”

Although Lynott is still transitioning into his new role as a coach, it hasn’t affected the team in the slightest. They’ve gone undefeated throughout their first three games and currently sit atop the OUA’s East Division.

With one game left in their regular season—taking place at Queen’s this weekend against the McMaster Marauders—Lynott says if they stick to their style of play, he believes they can keep their winning streak going.

“We just gotta stick to our game, our goals, which doesn’t change.”

“It’s a progression of what we’ve been building on since day one. Every game and how we laid it out is the same. We just build on our attack structure and defense a little bit more,” he said.

With Queen’s hosting the Canadian University Men’s Rugby National Championships in November, Lynott and the coaching staff’s plan is to keep this progression going in the postseason.

Lynott described their game plan for the national tournament. They want to be quick in the contact area and produce quick ball play in order to take on the more dominant teams.

As Lynott mentioned, it’s a huge advantage that Queen’s is hosting the tournament, as it will allow the athletes to sleep at home, play on their own fields, and be supported by local fans.

“I’m jealous that I don’t get to play,” he added.

Speaking to his long-term plan for the team—besides a hopeful national title in November—Lynott said his ultimate goal is to give back to the program as much as it gave to him as a player.

To close out the interview, Lynott reflected on the calibre of Queen’s Rugby program as a whole and what it hopes to achieve—apart from just dominating the pitch.

“Being a part of Queen’s Rugby and [everything that entails] is about producing great guys and great men,” he said.

“It’s a really strong community, the alumni network is incredible for support, so it goes outside of the field too.”


Men's rugby, Pat Lynott, rugby

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