All Black joins Chiefs coaching team

Tue, 31 Oct 2017 09:03
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IN THE SPOTLIGHT: On the eve of the Chiefs squad announcement, head coach Colin Cooper has named a highly experienced coaching team to prepare his men for their 2018 Super Rugby title hunt.

Tabai Matson has been confirmed as the new addition to the coaching team. He will leave his job as head coach of Bath in England and will join Chiefs afterwards.

The former Crusaders assistant Matson will join returning assistants Neil Barnes, Andrew Strawbridge and Carl Hoeft, under new head coach Cooper in 2018.

Matson, 44-years-old, has an astute rugby mind and an impressive rugby resume. The midfielder made 58 appearances for Canterbury and played 25 games for the Crusaders in the 1990s, before continuing his playing career abroad.

Born in Fiji, Matson played two Tests for Fiji at the 1999 Rugby World Cup, a team he also assisted as an attack coach in the 2015 RWC. He also played five matches for the All Blacks before turning his hand to coaching.

"Unfortunately it was an illness in my family that drew me back to New Zealand a lot sooner than I had planned," Matson said.  

"Although it was disappointing to leave Bath, the unexpected opportunity to be involved with the Chiefs was too good to pass up. I’ve really enjoyed working with Colin historically and we share a lot of similar values which will align closely with the culture of the Chiefs.

"I’d like to acknowledge Bath for their support during a challenging personal time for my family and I.

"It’s great to be involved in Super Rugby again and I’m really looking forward to the journey ahead with the Chiefs,"

Strawbridge and Barnes have extended their stay for further two seasons, respectively.

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