Auckland coach appointed to Blues

Auckland coach appointed to Blues

Auckland ITM Cup head coach Paul Feeney was today named as the Assistant Coach for the Blues, starting at the conclusion of the ITM Cup competition.

Feeney completes the new coaching group for the Blues under head coach Tana Umaga, taking specific responsibility for the backs attack and skills. He joins new defence coach Alastair Rogers and current forwards coach Glenn Moore.
Feeney, a former North Harbour representative, has been a professional coach for 14 seasons including two as assistant coach for Fiji and including winning the Rugby World Cup Sevens title. He also coached for two years in Japan.
He has been involved in the ITM Cup with North Harbour, Bay of Plenty and Auckland, taking over as Auckland’s head coach last year.
Feeney won three Heartland Championship titles in succession with East Coast from 2006-08, and was assistant coach with the Blues Development side for the last three years.
Blues coach Umaga said Feeney was an excellent acquisition for the club.
“Paul has excellent experience and a good track record,” Umaga said. “He has done an excellent job in the Blues environment with our Development team.
“He stood out to us among some very impressive candidates for the job, and we believe he will also fit very well into this new coaching group.
“Paul has the advantage of knowing a number of our players and this unique environment in Auckland, and of course understands the new culture of change that this organisation continues to strive for.”
Feeney, who will take up the fulltime role at the conclusion of the current ITM Cup, is delighted at his appointment.
“The opportunity I’ve been given to work alongside Tana is exciting and I’m looking forward to being a part of the new environment at the Blues,” Feeney said.
“The fact that I have coached a large number of the squad with Auckland and the Blues Development team will be hugely beneficial.”
The Blues were pleased that the contestable role as backs and skills coach attracted a number of quality candidates.
The coaching group has been completed with the appointment of Kylie Wilson as mental skills coach.
Wilson has a rugby pedigree, playing more than 40 games for Wales, working with the world champion New Zealand Under-20 team this year and with Auckland Rugby from last year.
She has been working with Olympic and targeted sports, including the Silver Ferns, for High Performance Sport New Zealand.