We can confirm today that current North Harbour coach Tom Coventry is joining the Blues next season as an assistant coach.
Coventry will join our coaching group alongside Tana Umaga and Tasman coach Leon MacDonald, who were named in May.
The former Waikato player and Chiefs assistant coach is vastly experienced and successful with two Super Rugby titles at the Chiefs and he guided North Harbour to the semi-final of the Mitre-10 Cup last season.
In his two years at North Harbour he has had a close involvement at the Blues, guiding the Development team.
Chief Executive Michael Redman said the club was impressed with his credentials.
“We received some outstanding applications for the position but Tom stood out with his clarity and details around the Forwards’ role. His credentials as a coach are impressive and his success to date speaks for itself,” he said.
“He comes with significant support from our players who have played under him, and from our own staff who have worked with him both at North Harbour and with our Development side.
“We believe we have an excellent team of coaching staff in place as we look to make a significant improvement in our performances next season.”
Head Coach Tana Umaga said he is looking positively at 2019 prospects.
“I look forward to Tom joining the group with Leon and myself. His experience of both New Zealand and international rugby will be of great value to our players and the coaching team.”
Coventry said he is excited at the opportunity as well as the challenge ahead.
“I am excited to be back coaching in Super Rugby again and this is an exciting challenge,” he said. “In my time in the region I have had a good chance to evaluate and be impressed by the talent here. Clearly there are unique challenges and responsibilities in this region but I believe the club has the foundations in place as well as a first-class training facility.
“I am confident with a lot of hard work that we can turn around the fortunes at the Blues and I look forward to being part of that.”
Coventry will complete his duties with North Harbour in the upcoming Mitre-10 Cup competition before taking up his position with us.
Waikato-born and raised, Coventry played 52 games for the province and won the NPC in 1992 before moving into coaching. He had successful roles with New Zealand Schools, as co-coach of
Hawke’s Bay including winning the ITM Cup Championship before four years at the Chiefs under Dave Rennie, where they won two Super Rugby titles. Coventry moved to UK to coach London Irish before returning home and taking up his current role at North Harbour where they reached the premiership semifinal.
Current forwards coach Steve Jackson did not seek re-appointment.
Michael Redman will confirm support staff roles in the coming months.