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Boyd the Lion moves on

Fri, 26 Oct 2012 10:41
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It was disappointing not to achieve a fifth consecutive Junior World Cup title
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Wellington Lions head coach Chris Boyd has been announced as the new mentor of the New Zealand Under-20 team.

He is one of three of this season's NPC coaches to have been appointed to the coaching team for the 2013 NZ U20 campaign.

Boyd has been promoted to the U20 head coach position after two years as the team's assistant coach.

He will be joined by new assistant coaches Chris Gibbes (Waikato), 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 NPC 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 Mooloos for three season, also has international coaching experience with both Japan at the 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 NPC 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.

Wellington Rugby Football Union CEO James Te Puni congratulated Boyd on behalf of the province.

"This is great recognition for Chris and testament to how highly regarded Chris is within the rugby community. To secure this role and be the head coach of the Wellington Lions is great for the future of rugby in Wellington.

"Despite ending their 2012 campaign on Saturday evening, we have seen the good work already established by Chris and his team. It is a strong foundation to pick up next year.”

Boyd added: "Although it was tough to bow out of the competition on Saturday, there is plenty of young talent within this region. This season we would continually see young, local players step up to the challenge and represent Wellington with Pride.

"There is a lot of young talent coming through the ranks in Wellington and across the country so I'm excited to help develop that over the next 12 months.

"Wellington is my home town and I'm a proud Wellingtonian. I am excited for 2013 and to continue to develop our own next season.”

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