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
Sat, 25 June 2016
Japan v Scotland 10h30 Nagoya
Italy U20 v Japan U20 11h00 Manchester
Griffons v Free State Cheetahs 12h10 Welkom
Griquas v Sharks 13h00 Kimberley
Georgia U20 v France U20 13h15 Manchester
Argentina U20 v South Africa U20 13h30 Salford
Boland v Namibia 14h00 Wellington
South Africa v Ireland 15h00 Port Elizabeth
Scotland U20 v Wales U20 15h30 Manchester
Australia U20 v New Zealand U20 15h45 Salford
Ireland U20 v England U20 18h00 Salford
Argentina v France 18h10 Buenos Aires
Sun, 26 June 2016
United States v Russia 02h00 Sacramento
Canada v Italy 16h00 Toronto
Fri, 01 July 2016
Chiefs v Crusaders 07h35 Hamilton
Brumbies v Reds 09h40 Canberra
EP Kings v Griquas 16h00 Port Elizabeth
Blue Bulls v Boland 17h00 Loftus Versfeld
Sat, 02 July 2016
Jaguares v Blues 22h00 Buenos Aires
Sunwolves v Waratahs 05h15 Tokyo
Hurricanes v Blues 07h35 Wellington
Rebels v Stormers 09h40 Melbourne
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 12 8 0 4 34
Waratahs 12 7 0 5 34
Rebels 11 6 0 5 27
Reds 13 3 1 9 16
Force 12 2 0 10 12
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 12 10 0 2 45
Chiefs 12 9 0 3 42
Hurricanes 12 8 0 4 40
Highlanders 12 8 0 4 38
Blues 12 6 1 5 30
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 12 7 1 4 36
Bulls 12 7 1 4 32
Cheetahs 12 3 0 9 17
Sunwolves 11 1 1 9 9
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 12 9 0 3 42
Sharks 12 7 1 4 35
Jaguares 12 2 0 10 14
Kings 12 2 0 10 9