The LA Giltinis have finalized their Rugby department with the Championship-winning club continuing to build on the Club’s high standards on and off the field for the 2022 Major League Rugby season.
In his second year at the Club, Marc Carter (above) has been promoted to Head of Technical Performance, an expansion on his previous role as the Giltinis' Performance Analyst, who will now assist with coaching co-ordinating, planning and player research.
Alana Gattinger will move from the Business unit to be appointed Director of Rugby Operations, while Myles Hirayama joins the club as Head of Athletic Medicine Services & Athletic Trainer in two key staff moves for the LA Giltinis.
The well-regarded Hirayama arrives at the Giltinis direct from the LA Kings where he was on staff for two Stanley Cup triumphs (2011-12 and 2013-14) during 15 seasons with the National Hockey League club.
Hirayama (below) will oversee and manage all injuries and create elite standards in his department comparable to the highest in professional sports as Head of Athletic Medicine Services and as the club’s top Athletic Trainer.
“We are proud of what we are building here the Club, but most importantly what we are doing for Rugby in the City of Los Angeles.” Said the Club’s General Manager Adam Freier
“It is important we recognize high achievers internally and set them on a path of which they are passionate about, and these appointments solidify that.
“We are also starting to attract talent from other sporting codes, which shows the sport and the Giltinis brand is beginning to resonate here in the City.
“Coach Hoiles has put a great performance team and program together. It really is a wonderful way to end the year and begin the 2022 season, and we would like to congratulate everyone on their appointments. Our fans and members have a lot to look forward to in 2022.”
Gattinger's promotion to Director of Rugby Operations and Team Manager is not only outstanding recognition at the Giltinis but for strong, skilful females in top roles within the MLR.
She joins Dallas Jackals General Manager Elaine Vassie, San Diego Legion Chief Operating Officer Athenee Willis and Kat Roche, the first female referee, in key positions in MLR.
“Rugby Ops and Team Manager are a side of the game I love to do,” Gattinger said.
“The Giltinis started out great in year one but we are well aware the competition gets stronger every season. We have to be creative because we can’t just repeat what we did in 2021 and expect to succeed."
“Our whole focus is to have a great second year and bolstering the staff to support the players is part of that."
“A big part of my role is putting in place more processes and policies so the club is set up long-term for success.”
Gattinger (below), 32, became a trailblazer for women in rugby when she became the first female team manager at the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan with her native Canada.
“Myles is a great addition to the team. He has tremendous experience in high-performance and professional sports in the US which he is bringing to the Giltinis,” Gattinger said.
For Hirayama, a new sport and new challenge to be part of Rugby family is one he was looking to being part of.
“First off, I would like to thank Adam, Stephen, and the Club for the opportunity to work with and for them. Even though I ‘was a hockey guy’, the Club has welcomed me with open arms and respect which has shown me a pillar of the type of winning culture they have and are trying to instill here at the Club.”
“As a Los Angeles native, I was never exposed to rugby let alone elite rugby - now I cant wait to see this game grow here in Southern California”
In the Rugby Department, Marc Carter has been promoted to the new role of Head of Technical Performance where analysing player performances and the opposition will be part of his role.
Championship-winning Giltinis captain Dave Dennis will add the role of Assistant Coach (forwards) to his pack-leading play on the field.
Adam Ashley-Cooper, another former Wallaby, is bringing his contemporary views to the team as Senior Assistant Coach since stepping away from playing after his Championship role in the centres.
The Giltinis are putting a priority on identifying and developing the vast potential among young players in Los Angeles, both those in the established rugby pathways and those yet to be discovered.
Dave Clancy is on board as Academy Head Coach while the experienced Kevin Battle is relishing his Director of Rugby Development portfolio, who was promoted to the role back in August.
The Giltinis’ Talent ID Camps in September-October and an expanded match program for the Academy are both aimed at nurturing the new breed of Giltinis’ players.
Other new high performance appointments are USC’s Brady McCormick (below) who will assistant in Strength and Conditioning, Performance Nutritionist Ciara McNulty and Derrick Guidry as Team Assistant Manager.
On the commercial team, David Grunfeld will step up to replace Gattinger to lead the Business Operations under Chief Commercial Officer Mitch Huberman.
Jessica Elliot joins the Giltinis to head up the launch of the Giltinis Ticketing and Membership program, while former NSW Waratahs and Wallabies Events Manager Emily Deegan is joining the Giltinis to lead all match day and fan engagement operations.
The Giltinis kick-off their Championship defence against the Houston Sabercats in Houston on February 5 with Opening Day at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum is set for Sunday, February 27 against the New England Free Jacks.