George Simpkin

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George Simpkin
Birth nameGeorge Dreadon Simpkin
Date of birth(1943-05-22)22 May 1943
Place of birth Northland, New Zealand
Date of death7 May 2020(2020-05-07) (aged 76)
Rugby union career
Amateur team(s)
YearsTeamApps(Points)
Matamata College ()
Teams coached
YearsTeam
1976-1984
1984-1990
1987-1991
1993-1999
1993-1999
1999-2000
2002
2003-2004
2006-2008
2010
2017
Waikato
Fiji
Fiji
Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Kandy
China
Sri Lanka
SC Frankfurt 1880
Germany
Shandong Provincial Team

George Dreadon Simpkin (22 May 1943 – 7 May 2020) [1] was a New Zealand rugby union coach, known for working with the national teams of Fiji, Hong Kong and Sri Lanka. He made a great contribution to the development of rugby union and rugby sevens in those countries. [2] [3]

Contents

Biography

Early coaching career

A native of Northland, [4] he played for the Matamata College team, where he began his coaching career in 1966 as a physical education teacher and playing coach, [5] [6] between 1976 and 1984, Simpkin coached Waikato [7] and achieved 56 victories in a row. [8] As part of the Waikato team, he advanced to the first division of the National Provincial Championship, winning in 1980 the Ranfurly Shield, beating the Auckland team. [9] [10] In aggregate, under his leadership, Waikato played 152 matches in the provincial championship, winning 95 matches, drawing 3 and losing 54, [11] among these, Waikato won a match against the French national team. [12] Simpkin dreamed of one day becoming the head of All Blacks. [13]

Fiji

Between 1987 and 1991, Simpkin coached the Fiji national team: in 1987 he took the team to the quarterfinals of the first world championship in tandem with Jo Sovau; [14] in 1991 he coached alongside Samisoni Viriviri, however, the team did not got past the group stage. [15] Simpkin also coached the Fiji Sevens team between 1984 and 1990, with which he won the annual Hong Kong Sevens in 1984 and 1990. It is believed that it was Simpkin who saw the talent of the future world star Waisale Serevi. [16]

Hong Kong and China

In 1988–1999, he permanently worked in the Hong Kong Rugby Football Union, [17] [18] developing rugby in China and organizing the first matches among the PLA military personnel in Hong Kong after the British transfer of Hong Kong to China in 1997. [19] His contribution to the development of Hong Kong rugby is highly regarded in the country: Simpkin helped the Hong Kong tournament acquire the status of the most prestigious, [20] creating a number of rugby clubs (Hong Kong Dragons, Gai Wu, Tigers, Bulls, Nomads, Typhoons). [21]

Sri Lanka

For some time, Simpkin also worked with the national teams of Sri Lanka, raising the level of development of sports in the country. [22] The rugby union team under his leadership won for the first time in a test match played away against Kazakhstan. [23] [24] In 2003, thanks to his efforts, the first Carlton Super Sevens tournament was held in Sri Lanka. [25]

End of career

Later, Simpkin coached the German club SC Frankfurt 1880 in the 2006–07 season. [26] [27] In 2010, he led the Germany sevens team, which he was preparing for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. [28]

Contribution to the development of world rugby

It is believed that George Simpkin developed a plastic kicking tee (influenced by the Canadians) [5] on which the ball is placed before a conversion or free kick. These tees were later used in rugby by top kickers such as Andrew Mehrtens, Joel Stransky, John Eales and Dan Carter. [29] He also introduced a number of new rules to rugby sevens. For example, a team that scored a try in a rugby sevens match must kick the ball from the center of the field after a conversion kick to restart the game; [30] on his own initiative, the players were allowed to drop the ball with their hands before kicking a conversion; [31] the play of the lineout was simplified and the hookers had to grab onto the props with their hands during the scrum. [32]

Personal life

He was married to Pip, he had two daughters, Lee and Greer, two grandsons, Carter and Curtis, who live in Sydney and a granddaughter, Holly, who lives in London. [33] During the quarantine, his daughter Greer wrote to him the poem Ode to George, dedicated to her father. [34]

Throughout his life, Simpkin fought against arthritis with Traditional Chinese medicine to strengthen his health. Simpkin died of cancer in Matamata, [35] on 7 May 2020. [36] [37]

Related Research Articles

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References

  1. "View George SIMPKIN's Notice on nzherald.co.nz and share memories". notices.nzherald.co.nz. Retrieved 24 October 2020.
  2. admin (22 May 2020). "Rugby Matters: Odd-ball George Simpkin was a true rugby visionary". The Rugby Paper. Retrieved 24 October 2020.
  3. "Hong Kong rugby mourns death of former coach George Simpkin, 77". South China Morning Post. 7 May 2020. Retrieved 24 October 2020.
  4. "Coaching guru back where it all started". Stuff. 14 April 2014. Retrieved 24 October 2020.
  5. "International rugby community farewells innovative coach George Simpkin". Stuff. 8 May 2020. Retrieved 24 October 2020.
  6. "Coaching guru back where it all started". Stuff. 14 April 2014. Retrieved 24 October 2020.
  7. "International rugby community farewells innovative coach George Simpkin". Stuff. 8 May 2020. Retrieved 24 October 2020.
  8. "Hong Kong rugby mourns death of former coach George Simpkin, 77". South China Morning Post. 7 May 2020. Retrieved 24 October 2020.
  9. admin (22 May 2020). "Rugby Matters: Odd-ball George Simpkin was a true rugby visionary". The Rugby Paper. Retrieved 24 October 2020.
  10. "Bay of Plenty Rugby pays tribute to coaching great George Simpkin". NZ Herald. Retrieved 24 October 2020.
  11. "Profile | New Zealand Rugby History". rugbyhistory.co.nz. Retrieved 24 October 2020.
  12. "Coaching guru back where it all started". Stuff. 14 April 2014. Retrieved 24 October 2020.
  13. "International rugby community farewells innovative coach George Simpkin". Stuff. 8 May 2020. Retrieved 24 October 2020.
  14. "Expat or local row as Fiji hunts a new national coach". ESPN.com. 12 November 1999. Retrieved 24 October 2020.
  15. admin (22 May 2020). "Rugby Matters: Odd-ball George Simpkin was a true rugby visionary". The Rugby Paper. Retrieved 24 October 2020.
  16. admin (22 May 2020). "Rugby Matters: Odd-ball George Simpkin was a true rugby visionary". The Rugby Paper. Retrieved 24 October 2020.
  17. Union, Hong Kong Rugby (25 October 2020). "George Simpkin". Hong Kong Rugby Union. Retrieved 24 October 2020.
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  20. "Hong Kong rugby mourns death of former coach George Simpkin, 77". South China Morning Post. 7 May 2020. Retrieved 24 October 2020.
  21. "Hong Kong rugby mourns death of former coach George Simpkin, 77". South China Morning Post. 7 May 2020. Retrieved 24 October 2020.
  22. "The Late George Simpkin - A Rugby Legend's Love". magzter.com. Retrieved 24 October 2020.
  23. admin (22 May 2020). "Rugby Matters: Odd-ball George Simpkin was a true rugby visionary". The Rugby Paper. Retrieved 24 October 2020.
  24. "International rugby community farewells innovative coach George Simpkin". Stuff. 8 May 2020. Retrieved 24 October 2020.
  25. "George Simpkin: Former Sri Lanka rugby coach dies". CeylonToday. Retrieved 24 October 2020.
  26. "Coaching guru back where it all started". Stuff. 14 April 2014. Retrieved 24 October 2020.
  27. "Rugby: Der Trainer-Guru". FAZ.NET (in German). ISSN   0174-4909 . Retrieved 24 October 2020.
  28. "Simpkin neuer Siebener-Nationaltrainer". op-online.de (in German). 5 February 2010. Retrieved 24 October 2020.
  29. "Former Development Coach Simpkin Passes Away" . Retrieved 24 October 2020.
  30. "Coaching guru back where it all started". Stuff. 14 April 2014. Retrieved 24 October 2020.
  31. "George Simpkin: Former Sri Lanka rugby coach dies". CeylonToday. Retrieved 24 October 2020.
  32. "Coaching guru back where it all started". Stuff. 14 April 2014. Retrieved 24 October 2020.
  33. "Bay of Plenty Rugby pays tribute to coaching great George Simpkin". NZ Herald. Retrieved 24 October 2020.
  34. "International rugby community farewells innovative coach George Simpkin". Stuff. 8 May 2020. Retrieved 24 October 2020.
  35. "Hong Kong rugby mourns death of former coach George Simpkin, 77". South China Morning Post. 7 May 2020. Retrieved 24 October 2020.
  36. admin (22 May 2020). "Rugby Matters: Odd-ball George Simpkin was a true rugby visionary". The Rugby Paper. Retrieved 24 October 2020.
  37. "George Simpkin: Former Sri Lanka rugby coach dies". CeylonToday. Retrieved 24 October 2020.