Crusaders Assistant Coach Dave Hewett has been appointed coach of this year’s New Zealand Schools team and Hurricanes Development Coach Darren Larsen has been named coach of the New Zealand Barbarian Schools team; both sides to play Fiji and Australia in September and October.
New Zealand Rugby today announced the coaching teams for both teams as New Zealand Rugby’s High Performance and the Schools selection network prepares to name the Schools and Barbarian Schools teams next month to face Fiji Schools and Australia Schools at Porirua Park.
New Zealand Rugby General Manager Neil Sorensen welcomed the coaching appointments as a great step forward for the schools programme:
“This is the most resource we have ever put around the schools’ programme as we see the New Zealand Schools and Barbarians Schools as important programmes in the New Zealand Rugby pathway. They provide the players involved exposure to a quality high performance environment that really enhances their development.
“This really is an exciting time for those working with talent at this age group, and it’s an incredibly exciting time for those players,” he said.
New Zealand Schools Council chairman Garry Chronican said the fact that talent was being developed through both the Schools team and the Barbarian Schools team meant more players would be exposed to new opportunities.
“We are delighted with these coaching appointments. To have such an outstanding blend of high performance and successful 1st XV coaches in our team management is satisfying indeed.
“We will need to draw on all the experience and expertise that these coaches will bring to the teams as we head into challenging programme of games against Australia and Fiji in September and October.”
New Zealand Schools Coach Dave Hewett said he was excited to be involved with the programme.
“I know first-hand the importance of having great opportunities for young talent. I am looking forward to being part of the start of something really amazing for these young men.
“Representing your country is a great honour for anyone, so I know that pulling on a black jersey will be a very special honour for everyone involved,” he said.
The schools programme has been welcomed as a great opportunity to showcase the host city, Porirua.
Porirua City Mayor Nick Leggett said:
“Rugby is the most popular sport across New Zealand schools, and certainly in Porirua City. We welcome and look forward to hosting this event and I’m sure there will be plenty of local support at the games with Porirua being a passionate rugby supporting community.
“Porirua Park is a venue of choice for rugby matches of significance as it provides an outstanding surface, great spectator viewing and player hosting facilities with the support of North’s Rugby Club.
“Porirua Park is the home ground and nursery for many representative players including Jerry Collins, Tamati Ellison, John Schwalgler, TJ Perenara, Alapati Leiua, Fafili Levave and Robert Fruean to name a few.”
New Zealand Schools
Head Coach – Dave Hewett, Crusaders Assistant Coach
Coach – Mark Ozich, Southland Boys 1st XV Coach, Southland Assistant Coach 2013
Campaign Manager – Russell Hilton-Jones, NZ Resource coach, coached various NZ age group teams including Under 19 and NZ Schools
Manager – Gerry Davidson, former NZ Schools and St Bede’s 1st XV coach, 2013 Schools manager
Physiotherapist – Paul Taitoko, NZ Schools physio since 20011
Strength & conditioning Coach – Brad Mayo, Waikato ITM Cup Assistant S&C coach and Waikato Academy S&C Coach
Performance Analyst – Tom Martin, Hurricanes Development team Performance Analyst
New Zealand Barbarians Schools
Head Coach – Darren Larsen, Hurricanes Development team Head Coach, NZ Under 20 resource coach
Coach – Ryan Martin, Otago Boys 1st XV Coach, Otago age grade coach
Manager – Nick Reid, Awatapu College, Barbarians Manager since 2012
Physiotherapist – Karl Houltham, Highlanders Assistant Physiotherapist, Kings High School 1st XV Physiotherapist
S&C Coach – James Dickie, Wellington Rugby Assistant S&C Coach
Three specialists will also work with both teams:
Mental Skills – John Quinn, Canterbury Rugby, NZ Cricket and Commonwealth Games Mental Skills provider
Nutritionist – Jonny Rea, Crusaders, Canterbury, Tasman and High Performance Sport NZ Nutritionist
Performance Analyst – tba
Schools and Barbarian Schools Fixtures:
Tuesday 30 September
NZ Barbarians v Australia 1:10pm
NZ Schools v Fiji 2:50pm
Saturday 4 October
NZ Barbarians v Fiji 1:10pm
NZ Schools v Australia 2:50pm