Keene State College’s men’s rugby team is adding a new member to the team that some people might recognize. Mathew Webber will be the new Assistant Coach. He’s originally from New Zealand but played professional rugby for the U.S.A.

Head coach John Johannesen said being the only coach is difficult. “I don’t have any assistance, but we don’t have any money in our budget [to hire anyone else],” Johannessen said. 

For the meantime, Webber will be volunteering his own time to coach. 

Johannesen said while he was checking references for Webber, the CEO of USA Rugby spoke highly of him.  

“Matt is a very good coach. Hard and direct. He has very strong technical background and is an excellent motivator. The teams he has coached have always been very fit and disciplined. It’s great to hear he’s back east and looking to contribute to the college game. I feel he’d be a very valuable asset to your program,” the CEO said. 

Webber is currently in New Zealand for family matters, but he will be in Keene around April 10. 

Although the team only has one coach, it has not stopped them from bringing their best to the field. 

The team had a tournament on March 25 and took third place. On March 31, they placed first out of five teams at a tournament held at Wesleyan. 

On April 8, the team will be traveling to College of the Holy Cross for a seven-team tournament (seven players against seven players) and then on April 15 they will be hosting a tournament here at home.

This seven-team tournament will decide which two teams will go to Babson College on April 21 to play in the Lighthouse seven-team tournament, which is the Northeast qualifier tournament for the championships. 

Adriana Sanchez can be contacted at

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