Mick Higgins steps down as Head of Senior Rugby

Ahead of the start of the 2020 season, Mick Higgins is stepping away as the head of mens rugby in Wicklow RFC. Mick has been the driving force behind Wicklow RFCs mens rugby program for many years. Whilst Mick will be remaining involved in WRFC, he steps away from his role as head of senior rugby, in a club that has been completely transformed over the last decade and for that we owe him a true debt of gratitude.
Not too many people would know that Micks father Jimmy played for the fledgling WRFC team in the early 1950s. Mick himself played with distinction, at scrum half for the first team in the late 70s. In the nineties Mick turned to coaching the Senior mens teams. He coached the first team in the mid nineties at a time of rebuilding for the club and took up the reins as second team coach for the 1998 season. He guided that second XV to a famous double. They won their section of the Leinster League with 14 wins from 15 games and the South East final with a 13 – 6 win over Enniscorthy.
Mick drove the second XV on to greater heights in the 2001 season. He guided the team to the seconds Towns Cup final where they were beaten by Navan. One week later, they gained sweet revenge beating the same Navan side in the Leinster League decider crowning Wicklow as the best J2 side in the province. This was the first Leinster pennant won by the club in many many years and the celebrations that night will be long remembered.
Micks attention turned to youths rugby. He brought through a superb squad of players, including his son Denis, to become the u16 All Ireland Champions in 2007. Having won the Leinster League, they went on to beat the Munster Champions Waterpark and then the Connacht Champions Galwegians in a thrilling final by 17 – 15. The team was to go on a win the u18 All Ireland Championship in 2008. They won the Leinster final by beating a monstrous Barnhall side, that had never been beaten before. They did this with an incredible display of courage, discipline, and honesty coupled with no little skill and determination. All hallmarks of teams that Mick coached over the years. They went on to beat Munster Champions Bruff to secure back to back All Irelands Championships. This superb team was to form the backbone of the club senior side for the next ten years.
Mick subsequently moved up into the role of senior rugby coordinator, where he has overseen the development of mens rugby for the last ten years or more. Mick drove the development of the new gym in 2011 at a time when financially the country was on its knees. The entire project was built for €20,000 and Micks energyand drive ensured it got done.
This simple gym helped to lay the foundations for the club to move on to the next level. Mick constantly strove to drive the club on and in 2016, the clubs greatest ambition was realised when they upset a fancied Enniscorthy side in front of a huge crowd at a packed Ashbourne RFC to win the coveted Provincial Towns Cup. Mick’s two sons, Denis and Mark both played on day that will never be forgotten by anyone in Wicklow RFC.
Many of the players Mick coached in the nineties are now in pivotal roles throughout the club, the boys he brought through the youth ranks, still form the backbone of the senior mens sides. The walls of the club are littered with the many pennants his teams won throughout the years. His passion for the club his sheer competitiveness and his drive to constantly improve has truly left an indelible mark on Wicklow RFC.