Former players developing next generation

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13 coaches from across the 16 provincial teams were former professional players.


New Zealand Rugby’s Head of High Performance Mike Anthony said this tournament was the ideal opportunity for developing coaches.


“The purpose of the tournament first and foremost is about identifying and developing young rugby talent, but it also gives provincial unions the chance to develop their coaches.


“We have seen a number of former professional players in the coaching ranks this year, not only is it great to see them giving back to the game but it’s a great level for them to contribute their knowledge and experiences.”


Counties Manukau were led by former All Black Stephen Donald, former Irish international and Super Rugby player Issac Boss and former Blues player Sean Polwart.


Former All Black Stephen Bates was coaching at the Jock Hobbs tournament for the third year, having previously worked with the North Harbour side, this year he was assistant coach of the second-placed Auckland team.


He said there is plenty to take out of being involved with rugby at this level.


“You get a real enthusiasm from the players, they are all pretty keen to be good at rugby so are keen to learn and as coaches we have the chance to really grow these young men.


“It’s also a national tournament so you are putting yourself up against the best in the country. Its been a rewarding week, sure there are some late nights up on the computers for the coaches which can be a bit tough but all in all it’s a fantastic week.”


The other bonus for the likes of Bates is catching up with old teammates, he used to flat with Waikato Assistant Coach Sean Hohneck and said catching up with old friends Stephen Donald and Issac Boss has been a bonus.


“I know that rugby has been good to me, and if I think back to when I was younger there are coaches that I will still keep in contact with, so its really nice to be able to give back a little bit,” said Bates.


Coaches included: Stephen Bates (Auckland), Daniel Bowden (Auckland), Junior Poluleiligaga (Auckland Development), Glen Jackson (Bay of Plenty), Stephen Donald (Counties Manukau), Issac Boss (Counties Manukau), Sean Polwart (Counties Manukau), Bronson Murray (Northland), Seilala Mapusua (Otago), Riki Hoeata (Taranaki), Jarrad Hoeata (Taranaki), Sean Hohneck (Waikato), Dion Waller (Wellington)



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