Tito joins Blues coaching ranks

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Tito, 44, said he had spent much of the last four years getting coaching experience overseas, and he jumped at the chance to be involved in the Blues coaching setup.

He said he was looking forward to working in the pack with assistant coach Tom Coventry and picking up on his experience.

After his 84 games for the Hurricanes and 100 appearances for Taranaki, Tito played six seasons, and 124 games for the Cardiff Blues, leading them to a championship title in his first season as captain, with a man-of-the-match performance in the final against Gloucester.

He has also coached with Taranaki and shared Wellington's success in the Bunnings NPC this year while also having stints with the Western Force and Pau in French rugby. Most recently, he has joined Georgia's Test coaching group.

His lineout prowess was a significant factor in his continuing growth and has been his area of expertise in coaching.

"It's all about us wanting to test ourselves at the highest level and keep improving every day."

His lineout expertise made him aware of how the Crusaders targeted the Blues lineout in the Super Rugby final earlier this year.

"The Crusaders are renowned for a great defensive lineout, and they had a strategy that worked that night and other times it doesn't work. It's just a couple of minor things we need to get to the bottom of and be a bit more consistent in our drill."

Tito said the potential in the Blues forwards was outstanding. There were some exceptional players, and if they could play as one and do the basics well, they would likely be close to the action on the points table again in 2023.

He enjoyed being part of the Georgia coaching group and going to Wales, which he described as close to his heart. Doing a job for the Georgians was memorable and unbelievable, even if he felt some pain for ousted Wales coach Wayne Pivac after their loss to Georgia.

"But to win at the Principality Stadium is something special and it will sit with me for a long time."

Tito said he found Tibilisi inspiring and enjoyed the Georgians' pride when putting on their national jerseys.

"They've been renowned for their forward play in the past, but with Cory Brown being there as an assistant coach, and Levan [Masisashvili] the head coach, they've done a fantastic job with the backs, and there is some real young talent coming through.

"They have a couple of kids playing in France who are pretty special and now the national team has done pretty well in their last couple of outings I'm pretty sure we'll see a little more of them."

He will be involved in Georgia's World Cup campaign next year, leaving once his Super Rugby commitment to the Blues is complete.


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