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Super Rugby: Blues bring back their coaching group for another crack in 2021

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Blues coach Leon MacDonald will keep his coaching group intact for at least one more season.

Hannah Peters/Getty Photographs

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Blues coach Leon MacDonald will hold his teaching group intact for a minimum of another season.

The Blues know an excellent factor after they’ve acquired it constructing, and have locked of their five-strong teaching group for a minimum of another Tremendous Rugby season.

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The franchise confirmed forward of this week’s squad announcement for 2021 (7am Thursday) that their total teaching group had reupped for subsequent season a minimum of as they give the impression of being to make additional floor within the wake of their 2020 breakthrough.

Defence coach Tana Umaga, who’s carefully linked with the Moana Pasifika group looking for to come back into Tremendous Rugby for 2022, had already introduced his one-season extension on the Blues to hitch head coach Leon MacDonald, whereas forwards coach Tom Coventry and again assault/abilities guru Dan Halangahu have confirmed they are going to stay on board “till 2022”.

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Former All Black prop Ben Afeaki, who moved to a fulltime position as scrum coach in 2020, can even return for an additional season to maintain the band intact. The Blues lastly lifted themselves off the wooden-spoon spot in New Zealand this 12 months after they completed an honourable runnerup in Tremendous Rugby Aotearoa, behind the Crusaders.

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Blues CEO Andrew Hore hoped the steadiness and continuity of a “world-class” teaching group would have main spinoffs for the franchise.

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“They’ve pushed the event and maturation of this group of younger gamers,” stated Hore. “All of them have a outstanding understanding of the sport, which is matched by their want, consideration to element and dedication to assist mould this group into good residents on and off the sector.

“We’ve an extended method to go as a gaggle, however we couldn’t be extra happy that this cluster of coaches will proceed to drive our workforce.”

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MacDonald stated it was necessary the teaching group continued to construct on what they’d established via their first two seasons collectively.

“We all know simply how demanding the Tremendous Ruby Aotearoa competitors shall be and the trans-Tasman aspect to observe.

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“I significantly get pleasure from working with this group of individuals. We’re all very totally different, however we now have a shared want to do our greatest to information this workforce and these younger males ahead.”

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The Blues went 5-2 in Tremendous Rugby correct previous to the lockdown after which 5-2 in Tremendous Rugby Aotearoa, earlier than their common season finale towards the Cusaders was cancelled due to the Covid group outbreak within the Auckland area.

That they had not completed higher than ninth within the competitors since their semifinal look in 2011.

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MacDonald will unveil a largely settled squad for 2021 this week, although they do have one main gap to fill, with star All Blacks playmaker Beauden Barrett absent on his Japanese sabbatical. Younger Auckland fullback Zarn Sullivan is predicted to fill the void at fullback, with some assist from utility again Stephen Perofeta.



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