Jamie Joseph steps down
Thu, 23 May 2013 12:50
The Maori play a great brand of rugby
Jamie Joseph has decided to step down from the role as Maori All Blacks coach, a position he has held for three years.
The Maori All Blacks will play against Canada and the United States in a two-match North American tour.
They take on Canada in Toronto on November 3 and the US Eagles in Philadelphia on November 9.
New Zealand Rugby Chief Executive Steve Tew thanked Joseph for his contribution to the team.
"Jamie has been a special part of the team, both as a player and as a coach, including leading the team during the centenary celebrations in 2010," Tew said.
Joseph will continue to focus on the Highlanders Super Rugby team.
The NZRU will begin the search for a new coach next month.
Tew said the tour matches represented an exciting opportunity to take a special New Zealand team to North America.
"The Maori All Blacks have a unique history in the game, combined with a rich cultural identity," Tew said.
"We had a wonderful taste of the style of rugby played by both Canada and the US when they played here in World Cup 2011. New Zealanders got behind both teams during that tournament, which really added to the experience of players.
"The Maori All Blacks tour reinforces a great relationship with both unions, and recognises the growth of rugby in both countries," he said.
Rugby Canada's General Manager, Rugby Operations and Performance, Mike Chu said: "Playing the Maori All Blacks is a great opportunity for our team to play a quality international team in front of our home crowd.
"The Maori All Blacks are one of the most respected teams in the world and play a great brand of rugby, and I know our players are really excited about this game.
"Canada played them last year and pushed them very close, so we are looking forward to having another crack.
"This game also provides an excellent build-up to Canada's Fall Tour to Europe where we will play an additional three international matches."
USA Rugby's President and CEO, Nigel Melville said: "It is our great pleasure to announce that the Maori All Blacks will be touring North America in November and playing an international fixture against the USA Eagles.
"The Maori All Blacks have a proud rugby tradition that makes them one of the most iconic rugby brands in the world of rugby. It is our goal to increase the quality of opponents for the Eagles and to expose our domestic fans to world-class international rugby events."
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