Club Leadership

The Wildfires are fortunate to be led by a highly experienced group of executive and coaching staff. Backed by the invaluable support team at Hunter Rugby, here’s our leadership group.

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David Campese, Ambassador

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David is a former Australian Rugby Union player (1982-1996), who was capped by the Wallabies 101 times. Of those Tests, he played 85 at wing and 16 at fullback. He toured with the Eighth Wallabies for the 1984 Australia rugby union tour of Britain and Ireland that won rugby union’s ‘grand slam’, defeating England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland.

David also participated in the inaugural 1987 Rugby World Cup, and was a member of the Wallabies that won the 1991 Rugby World Cup, during which he was the tournament’s equal leading try-scorer and ‘Player of the Tournament’.

Bringing a wealth of knowledge to the club both on and off field, David’s role is about raising the profile of both the Wildfires and of Rugby more broadly, and to promote the opportunity the Wildfires offers local players to achieve their Rugby goals right here in the Hunter.
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Scott (Bubba) Coleman, Head Coach

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Bubba played Hooker for the Hunter Wildfires from 1996 to 1999 and in the Premier 1 Division of the NHRU with the Hamilton Hawks from 2000 to 2008. This period also included representative honours for the NHRU and Cockatoos teams.

Bubba has been in coaching roles since 2001, mostly guiding the Hamilton Hawks to numerous Major Premierships, though his coaching career has also included roles in Benevento, Italy, and Calgary, Canada.

As Head Coach of the Wildfires, Bubba oversees the coaching at all levels within the club as well as directly coaching the Premier 1 team. His leadership skills, recruitment record and commitment are major assets to the club.
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Nicola Roche, Vice Chairperson

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Nicola’s involvement with the Wildfires commenced in 2020, with the entry of a women’s team into the Jack Scott Cup.

Initially Nicola was responsible for coordinating and managing the women’s program, however, thanks to a high injury toll, that evolved into a playing role. As a result, Nicola was fortunate to be part of the Wildfire’s team that took out the second division championship in their first year of the competition.

Nicola’s involved across the entirety of the Wildfire’s program, but still retains a key focus on the women’s team.
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Howard Davies, Board Member

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After an international career in the Corporate world, Howard is now committed to Hunter Rugby and in particular to the Hunter Wildfires as they pursue their journey in the Shute Shield and the Jack Scott Cup. Howard firmly believes in the importance of Representative Rugby to the region, as the largest non-capital city in Rugby Union.

Howard’s main responsibilities are with our corporate Partners, which extends to involvement in major events and functions. His role helps to ensure the Wildfires have the funds necessary to develop our grassroots commitment and drive the success of the club.

Howard’s background in Rugby includes being a founding Member of the Wooden Spoon Society in the UK, their largest Rugby-based charity, as well as Directorships of the Cauliflower Club and the Australian Rugby Foundation. His external ‘not for profit’ commitments include as Chair of the Australian British Chamber of Commerce and Director / Treasurer of The Fred Hollows Foundation.
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Bob Brown, Board Member

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Bob is a retired Army Officer, with a 40 year career as an Infantry Officer, including United Nations Service in the Middle East, and active service in Afghanistan.

He played rugby at club level with RMC Duntroon and Parramatta, and representative rugby for ACT, NSW Country, NSW and Australia. He was President of the ACT Brumbies from 2015-2018, before retiring to the Hunter and joining the board of the Wildfires.
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Stephen Hunt, Board Member

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Stephen Hunt is the Australian publican with hospitality management in his genes. With a business degree and over 30 years of industry experience, Stephen is a certified professional determined to share his knowledge with the world.

The success story of Stephen starts behind the bar pouring beers at his local pub. While he always enjoyed getting people together for a good time, this is where his passion for community, business and hospitality began.

Learning to strengthen customer relationships and lead, Stephen quickly learnt that hospitality management was a skill he could muster into entrepreneurial endeavours.

Years later and notoriously known for turning a million-dollar law suit into a $1.3million investment, Stephen has quickly become recognised as a fundraising mastermind raising the amount in just 8 hours.

With multiple successful venues and many innovative projects in development: Stephen Hunt has blended entrepreneurial spirit with local business. Savvy at executing multimillion-dollar deals, Stephen’s has evolved his enterprises into a capital investment, local grassroots powerhouse.

Stephen runs a people focused business where employees are family members and the locals quickly become loyal friends. Unique to most business approaches, Stephen prioritises community engagement with commercial viability. With the desire to effectively combine business with pleasure within hospitality management, Stephen Hunt wears community building with pride. From overseeing strategic planning and expansion to undertaking complex commercial negotiations, Stephen’s knack for business exceeds expectations.

With the knowledge that hospitality is built on sustained community practices, Stephen prioritises communication, ideation and empowerment to foster his team’s success. Offering guidance and mentorship to aspiring entrepreneurs globally, Stephen lives and breathes leadership in the hospitality industry..
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