Coaching group extend roles

Coaching group extend roles

The Blues have received a major boost in next year’s Super Rugby competition and beyond with all five coaches extending their stay at the organisation.

Defence coach Tana Umaga had already announced his extension at the Blues to join head coach Leon MacDonald, with forwards coach Tom Coventry and back attack/skills coach Dan Halangahu confirming they will be on board until 2022.

Former All Black Ben Afeaki, who moved to a fulltime role as scrum coach this year, will return for a further season.

Blues CEO Andrew Hore said he is thrilled that the group of coaches have all committed to the team going forward, and the stability of the coaching team will be welcomed by returning players and act as a magnet for aspiring Super players from throughout the Blues region.

“We are fortunate to have a group of world class coaches who have driven the development and maturation of this group of young players,” said Hore.

“They all have a remarkable understanding of the game, which is matched by their desire, their attention to detail and their determination to help mould this group into good citizens on and off the field.

“While they are all strong individuals, they have formed absolute respect for each other, although that does not stop them from some challenging discussions.

“We have a long way to go as a group, but we could not be more pleased that this cluster of coaches will continue to guide and drive our team.”

MacDonald said he is delighted his coaching group will continue together.

“We know just how demanding the Sky Super Ruby Aotearoa competition will be and the trans-tasman element to follow will be something we all look forward to.

“With squads announced this week, it won’t leave much time before we are back together working hard.

“I greatly enjoy working with this group of people. We are all very different but we have a shared desire to do our best to guide this team and these young men forward.”

The coaching team have spent time with the three provincial unions in the Blues region and assisting with the Barbarians Under-18 camp along with some in-depth planning for the 2021 season.