All Black Mauger to coach Highlanders
NEWS: Former All Blacks centre Aaron Mauger was appointed head coach of the Highlanders Tuesday under a three-year deal with the New Zealand Super Rugby franchise.
Mauger said he was excited at the prospect of joining the Highlanders, who won the competition in 2015 and were quarterfinalists this year.
"The team has become a consistent performer at the top of the competition in recent years and we look forward to the challenge of growing our game and achieving great things," he said.
"The Highlanders have a solid foundation of good core values and a tight knit culture. It's a credit to all those who have worked hard to establish an environment that allows people to express themselves and thrive as individuals.
"We have a strong squad, a quality group of coaches in Mark [Hammett], Clarke [Dermody] and Jon [Preston] as well as a very passionate management team and support staff – all of whom bring massive experience and quality to their respective roles.
"I am excited at the prospect of working with this team to help further the Highlanders and grow our connections with fans across the region, and around the globe. We want to deliver a type of rugby that makes them all proud to wear our colours."
Mauger, 36, played 45 Tests for New Zealand and made 89 appearances for the Crusaders.
After a chronic back injury forced him to hang up his boots in 2010, he was an assistant coach with the Crusaders before joining the coaching team at Leicester Tigers in 2015.
Outgoing Highlanders coach Tony Brown was always on a one-year deal for 2017 and will now join Jamie Joseph as an assistant in the Japanese national team's coaching set up.