ITM Cup trio to take up NZU20 reins

Three of this season's ITM Cup Head Coaches have been appointed to the coaching team for the 2013 New Zealand Under 20 campaign, the New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) announced today.

Wellington Coach Chris Boyd has been promoted to the New Zealand Under 20 Head Coach position after two years as the team's Assistant Coach.

Boyd's will be joined by new Assistant Coaches Waikato's Chris Gibbes, who led the Mooloos to Ranfurly Shield success this year, and North Harbour's Liam Barry.

New Zealand Rugby Union General Manager Professional Rugby Neil Sorensen congratulated the new coaching trio as they begin work on their 2013 campaign, starting with their first camp next month.

"We are thrilled to have such quality coaches in all three men. We're especially pleased to have Chris Boyd step up to the lead role which will provide some valuable continuity for this team.

"Collectively, Chris, Liam and Chris bring an exciting blend of experience that complements their individual skill set. Their experience is a great foundation to help develop the abundant talent we have at age-group level in this country," Sorensen said.

Boyd said: "Although it was disappointing not to achieve a fifth consecutive Junior World Cup title this year, it is exciting to see the talent our age group programmes and the ITM Cup continues to produce.

"We are looking forward to our first camp in November as we begin the campaign towards the Junior World Cup in France in 2013."

New Zealand's traditional dominance of the Junior World Cup was broken by hosts South Africa this year, after they beat New Zealand 22-16 in the Final.

Gibbes, who has headed the Moolos for three season, also has international coaching experience with both Japan at the Rugby World Cup in 2007 and more recently in 2012 with Georgia.

Former All Blacks openside flanker, Liam Barry has completed a testing first season as ITM Cup Head Coach with North Harbour. He made the move following seven years with the Blues as a Skills Coach from 2006-2009 then as Assistant Coach from 2010-2012.


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