Hammett falls on his sword

Thu, 10 Apr 2014 08:40
Large mark hammett media Large james te puni  mark hammett

Hurricanes coach Mark Hammett will step down from the Super Rugby side when his contract expires at the end of the season.

Hurricanes coach Mark Hammett will step down from the Super Rugby side when his contract expires at the end of the season.

His decision to fall on his sword comes after four years in charge.

The former All Black, who has failed to bring success to the New Zealand outfit on the southernmost tip of New Zealand's North Island and has a strained relationship with fans, did not give a reason for his exit.

He said only that he wanted to clear the way for succession planning.

"This is a decision I have made after much discussion with my family," he said in a statement.

"It has not been an easy decision, but we feel the time is right for me to step aside after this season."

Hammett arrived at the Hurricanes in 2011 as a first-time Super Rugby coach and immediately attempted to install the same disciplined, no-nonsense culture he had experienced in his playing days at the Crusaders.

In doing so, he sacked high-profile players who did not agree with his methods - including Ma'a Nonu and Andrew Hore.

The clear-out prompted international players such as Piri Weepu, Aaron Cruden and Hosea Gear to leave on their own accord and triggered a backlash among fans that Hammett never recovered from.

Poor results did not help, with the Hurricanes finishing ninth, eighth and 11th in his three seasons in charge.

They are currently joint seventh on the ladder after three wins from seven games.

"For now, my sole focus is on the Hurricanes and continuing the job at hand," he said.

"I'm really proud of the contribution I have made to this team and the players over the past three seasons."

Hammett gave no hint about his future intentions, although there is speculation he could take up the vacant coaching position at the Cardiff Blues in Wales.

Hurricanes Chief Executive James Te Puni acknowledged Hammett's contribution to the franchise and said he was 100 percent confident in the head coach's commitment to the team for the 2014 season.

"Mark has worked incredibly hard to create a strong and positive culture here at the Hurricanes," Te Puni said.

"We are looking forward to the remainder of the season and will be in full support of Mark and the team as they focus on their performance."

Hurricanes Chairman Brian Roche said a recruitment process, in conjunction with New Zealand Rugby, would begin in the near future.

"While we will need to explore our future coaching options soon, we remain fully supportive of Mark and the team in keeping our sights on the 2014 priority to continue to lift performance," Roche said.

"Everyone wants the Hurricanes to deliver performances we can all be proud of, and that's where the focus lies."

New Zealand Rugby General Manager Professional Rugby Neil Sorensen said he was saddened by Hammett's decision, but understood and respected it.

"Hammer has been a total professional throughout all his dealings and engagements whether it be with players, fans, sponsors, and the rugby community," Sorenson said.

"He has added great value to the Hurricanes and New Zealand Rugby environments; he is a man of integrity and is a coach the players don't want to lose."

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Wed, 31 May 2017
New Zealand U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
England U20 v Samoa U20 07h00 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v France U20 09h30 Tbilisi
Ireland U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
Australia U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
Fri, 02 June 2017
Blues v Reds 07h35 Auckland
Sat, 03 June 2017
Crusaders v Highlanders 02h35 Christchurch
Chiefs v Waratahs 05h05 Hamilton
NZ Barbarians v B&I Lions 07h35 Toll Stadium
Brumbies v Rebels 09h45 Canberra
Force v Hurricanes 11h35 Perth
Sun, 04 June 2017
Ireland U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v France U20 07h00 Tbilisi
New Zealand U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Australia U20 v Samoa U20 09h30 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
England U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 28 May 2017
Lions v Kings 54 | 10
Sat, 27 May 2017
Jaguares v Brumbies 15 | 39
Munster v Scarlets 22 | 46
Sharks v Stormers 22 | 10
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 20 | 23
Bulls v Hurricanes 20 | 34
Rebels v Crusaders 19 | 41
Highlanders v Waratahs 44 | 28
Sunwolves v Cheetahs 7 | 47
Fri, 26 May 2017
Reds v Force 26 | 40
Blues v Chiefs 16 | 16
Sun, 21 May 2017
Waratahs v Rebels 50 | 23
Sat, 20 May 2017
Kings v Brumbies 10 | 19
Munster v Ospreys 23 | 3
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 21 | 20
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 12 5 0 7 28
Waratahs 12 4 0 8 19
Force 12 4 0 8 17
Reds 12 3 0 9 16
Rebels 12 1 1 10 8
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 13 13 0 0 59
Hurricanes 12 10 0 2 48
Highlanders 13 10 0 3 45
Chiefs 12 9 1 2 45
Blues 13 6 1 6 33
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 12 7 0 5 34
Cheetahs 13 3 0 10 16
Bulls 12 3 0 9 15
Sunwolves 12 1 0 11 7
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 13 12 0 1 56
Sharks 13 9 1 3 42
Jaguares 12 5 0 7 24
Kings 12 4 0 8 19