Super Rugby newcomers Fijian Drua on Friday named former Australian Rules champion Mick Byrne as the team’s head coach for his or her debut season subsequent year.
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Byrne has beforehand labored as abilities coach for the All Blacks, Australia, Japan and Scotland, as effectively as serving as assistant coach for the Blues.
The 62-year-old took an uncommon path to teaching rugby, first working with the code after a enjoying career with Australian Rules membership Hawthorne.
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“To have someone with Mick’s calibre and experience as our foundation head coach is fantastic,” Drua interim chief government Brian Thorburn stated.
“He is a seasoned professional and shone through the intensive selection process by displaying real passion for the club and Fijian rugby.”
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Byrne, who was appointed on a two-year contract, stated the Drua would face a difficult opening season, when they are going to be primarily based in Australia, however stated it was an opportunity to develop Fijian rugby.
“I’ve followed and admired the way Fijian teams play the game over the course of my coaching career,” he stated.
“It’s a style of play that puts the joy of rugby at its core and I’m very excited to help our club showcase this to the world when the new Super Rugby season starts.”
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The Drua is certainly one of two new sides launched to the revamped Super Rugby Pacific competitors for subsequent season, together with Moana Pasifika, which will probably be primarily based in New Zealand.
Their inclusion is designed to permit the Pacific nations of Fiji, Tonga and Samoa to retain prime expertise as an alternative of continually seeing gamers head abroad searching for skilled alternatives.
The 12-team competitors, which additionally options 5 groups every from Australia and New Zealand, is scheduled to kick off on February 18.