Old Glory DC Names Simon Cross Head Coach

Old Glory DC utilized its partnership with the Scottish Rugby Union and named Simon Cross as its Head Coach through the 2026 Major League Rugby season. Cross succeeds former Head Coach Josh Syms, who led Old Glory to its first MLR playoff appearance and playoff win in 2023 against Rugby New York.

The 42-year-old Cross joins the team after a distinguished career as both a coach and player and recently served since 2018 as Defense Coach for the Dragons in the United Rugby Championship. 

After playing amateur rugby for Selkirk, he played professional rugby for the Wasps from 2000 through 2003, captaining the U21s and winning the U21 Final in 2003. He played for Edinburgh Rugby from 2003 to 2010 and retired from playing due to persistent knee problems.

Cross was born in Mauritius, where his father served in the British Army. His great great grandfather was born in Scotland and he petitioned the IRB to play for Scotland after he played for the England U19s and had turned down a chance to play for England’s U21s. In 2014 that was approved and he played in four stops in the World Sevens Series for Scotland in 2007.

Cross has an extensive coaching background where he was a coach with Penicuik from 2003 to 2008. He was the First team Head Coach for the Murrayfield Wanderers from 2008 through 2011 and had the same role with the  Edinburgh Accies from 2011 to 2013.  He also coached the Scotland U20s in 2012-2013.

From 2013 through 2018 he was the  Worcester Warriors’ Defense Coach and in 2017-2018 the Head Coach of Birmingham Moseley. He then was the Head of Rugby for RGS Worcester from 2018-2020, as well as the Defense Coach for Luctonians Rugby Limited, as well as the same role with the Dragons.

Old Glory DC Comments

“It only took a few conversations with the owners for me to believe D.C. is the right opportunity for me to take on this kind of challenge,” said Cross.  “The organization’s culture and commitment to growing the game in the U.S., the core of players they have assembled, the strong coaching they’ve had, and the facilities and resources invested in the team all set the foundation for success.  At the same time, I’ve studied many of their games this year, visited training, and attended one game live, and I have a clear sense of where I can contribute.”

“Simon’s history is as a defensive coach,” observed Old Glory’s chairman, Chris Dunlavey, adding: “They say offense may catch the fans’ attention, but it’s the defense that wins championships.  Simon’s level of experience, knowledge of the game, and network throughout the rugby world make it clear he can lead us to success in MLR.”

Added co-owner Paul Sheehy:  “Simon has an outstanding breadth of experience and an excellent sense of where Old Glory is today and where we need to go. We are excited to start the Simon Cross Era.”

Cross, a father of two boys, was also attracted by the prospects of moving his family to the Greater Washington area but also, in a way, returning to the Scottish Rugby fold through the involvement of the Scottish Rugby Union in Old Glory’s ownership. Said Cross, “In visiting D.C., I got a chance to review not only the team but the city and several parts of the area, and the family and I are greatly looking forward to the new adventure of living, working, going to school, and playing sports here.”

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North American Rugby News With A USA Slant