waratahs.com.au and James Mortimer 04.Nov.2013Getty Images
Tonga forwards coach Mark Bakewell will return to the club as Director of Rugby, with former All Black Andrew Mehrtens taking over as technical advisor and last year’s first grade captain Pauliasi Taumoepeau stepping up to coach the first grade Colts.
Delighted with the new lineup, the club’s Vice President of Rugby Hamish McCathie said, “We see these appointments as a huge positive for our rugby program and for the club as a whole. We aim to give every aspirational player the chance to learn and develop their game, and with this line up of quality coaches I’ve no doubt we will achieve this.”
Bakewell will take over following the completion of his international duties at the end of this month. As well as Tonga’s three match tour, Bakewell is also assisting Barbarians coach Steve Hansen for the famous travelling team’s upcoming Twickenham on November 30. He brings with him over 13 years of professional coaching expertise, having previously worked with English premiership side Bath and the Rebels.
One of the game’s great playmakers and New Zealand’s all time highest points scorer at the time of his retirement in 2004, Mehrtens will work across all grades, including Colts. “Andrew’s appointment as a huge incentive for any schoolboy who wants to come and join the Easts’ Colts program and develop their game,” added McCathie.
“We are looking forward to his vast knowledge and experience and I’m sure everyone at the club will be able to learn something from him.”
Last year’s first grade captain, Pauli has retired to take up his role of first grade colts coach. Having attended St Joseph’s College and in 2004 captained the Australian Schoolboys side, Pauli brings leadership skills and an extensive knowledge of club rugby that will be used to benefit the club’s up and coming young players. “Pauli is a great comunicator and our colts players will learn a lot from him,” added McCathie.