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Super Rugby

Chiefs Coach Steps Down

The Chiefs will have a new head coach for the 2020 Super Rugby season as Colin Cooper has decided to move on

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(Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Chiefs head coach Colin Cooper will not complete the final year of his contract and will step down the club and New Zealand Rugby have confirmed.

Cooper, who has completed two of the three years on his contract will take next year to spend time with his family and has been in discussions over a release from his contract for several weeks.

Having led the Chiefs to successive quarter finals in 2018 and 2019, Cooper is happy with the time he spent with the franchise and believes that it is the right time to step aside.

“I believe the team and the club are bigger than the individual and the club comes first. With next year the start of a new World Cup cycle, I believe it is the right time to step aside. There is a good crew of players and staff here who are committed to carrying the club forward. Developing young players and coaches for the future of New Zealand rugby is something I’m very passionate about, and I’m proud and grateful to have been a part of that with the Chiefs,” he said.

He went on to thank the support he had over his two years with the club and confirmed that he will be spending some time with his family while away from the sport.

“The Chiefs and the Club are well supported by fans and sponsors, and I would like to thank them for making me feel welcome and at home in Hamilton. For now, my focus is to complete our season review, and then my priority is to spend time with my whanau, and moko who are continuing to grow,” he added.

Cooper admitted that while he is taking the time to be with his family, he will also be considering his future.

“The role of the head coach has evolved so much over the past five or six years. My passion is ‘hands-on’ on-the-field coaching, but with bigger playing numbers and more staff involved these days, I am getting taken further and further away from my passion. So, I will take some time out with my family and discuss our future,” he finished.

New Zealand Rugby chief executive Steve Tew was full of praise for Cooper who has been on the coaching scene for over 20 years now and hopes to see him back in the rugby circle again soon.

“Coops is a remarkable individual with great presence and mana. We know Coops to have a special talent in communicating with young men and working to bring the best out of those in his charge, and to help grow outstanding individuals on and off the field. We appreciate that he will have some decisions to make and while he will have choices in front of him, we hope his special abilities won’t be lost to New Zealand rugby,” he said.

Tew also agreed with Cooper’s timing and the way he dealt with stepping aside by allowing notice to give the club time to find a replacement.

“Next year is a post-World Cup year when there is a lot of player movement within Super Rugby and clubs are beginning the next four-year cycle. Taking that into consideration, both Colin and the Club have spoken at length over several weeks and agree that the time is right for a new coach to take the Chiefs into 2020 and beyond Being an ultimate professional and team man, Colin’s early decision was not made lightly by either him or the Club, but it has allowed us some space to recruit and plan for a smooth and successful transition,” he added.

Cooper will be a hard man to replace as he was loved by many at the club, and rugby fans will be hoping to see him back on the scene soon.

Rugby Championship

SANZAAR to Consider Japan’s Rugby Championship Inclusion

Following their hugely impressive Rugby World Cup performances from Japan SANZAAR are set to not only consider the team’s inclusion in the Rugby Championship but are also to reconsider the Sunwolves future according to reports

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Japanese rugby franchise the Sunwolves could be set for a return to Super Rugby as well as the national side having a chance to compete in the Rugby Championship according to a report from Newshub.

Following Japan’s brilliant World Cup campaign where they reached the last eight of the competition for the first time in their history, SANZAAR are apparently set to consider bringing the country into the Rugby Championship to help them develop their game. 

The report claims that SANZAAR are set to meet in Tokyo on Friday where they will also discuss the possibility of reintroducing the Sunwolves to Super Rugby. 

Speaking to Newshub, World Rugby chief executive Brett Gosper is hoping that Japan will be able to compete at the highest level and rues the fact that the Nations Championship proposal was shut down. 

“Certainly if I was in their shoes I’d be very keen to have Japan in my competition sooner rather than later. That’s entirely their call. We proposed a nations championship that had Japan very much playing at the top table and maybe they’ll see it that way for their own particular championship” he said. 

The inclusion of the Sunwolves would be huge for Japan after the franchise failed to agree a new contract with SANZAAR to extend their time in the competition where they have only won eight of 62 games since 2016. 

However, considering the success of the national side this tournament it seems only fair that they should be given a chance to continue their development to the top tier and that will only happen if their players are playing against the best week in week out. 

The Japanese were unfortunate to go down 26-3 to the Springboks on Saturday in the quarter-finals, but following their incredible performances where they played a fast and exciting style of rugby, earning many fans worldwide, people will hope that this is only the beginning of their rugby story.

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Super Rugby

Brumbies Sign Rugby League Star

The Brumbies have signed a Rugby League star for the 2020 Super Rugby

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Australian Super Rugby franchise the Brumbies have confirmed the signing of rugby league star Solomone Kata from Melbourne Storm ahead of 2020 season. 

The 24-year-old is a five-time capped Tonga and six-time capped New Zealand international and has put pen to paper on a three deal with Canberra-based side which starts next year. 

Brumbies head coach Dan McKellar is delighted to have the utility back join the franchise as he adds further depth to the squad. 

“He is a point of difference player with a physical profile to add to our squad. He is a very powerful and dynamic footballer who has the ability to stress any defensive line. At this stage, we see him as a utility back and we will be open-minded about the position he plays,” he said. 

While the player himself, who has played league for the New Zealand Warriors as well as Melbourne Storm is excited to start this new chapter in his career. 

“I have heard very good things about the Brumbies and how they have developed their players … I can’t wait to get to Canberra to start my professional rugby union career,” he said. 

The back had a fantastic record with the Warriors side scoring 45 tries in only 93 matches, but failed to appear for Melbourne Storm. However, Brumbies fans will certainly be excited about having a new player with a lot of potential. 

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Premiership

White’s Future Finally Sorted Out

Wallabies scrum-half Nic White has confirmed what team he shall sign for come the end of his contract with Exeter

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(Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

The Brumbies have confirmed the signing of Wallabies scrum-half Nic White from the Exeter Chiefs from the 2021 Super Rugby season.

White has signed a two-year deal that will see him through until after the 2022 Super Rugby season with his former employers, whom he lined-out for previously between 2011 and 2015. 

The 29-year-old has admitted that he is delighted to be moving home in a couple of years time but is looking forward to the remainder of his time with the Chiefs before then. 

“The Brumbies is home for me, and Canberra is home for my family, so to know that my future is set and that I’ll be back at the Brumbies. It’s so exciting. Right now, I’m completely focused on the Rugby World Cup and the Wallabies, and I look forward to getting back to the Chiefs and ripping in with them, but again, knowing I’ll be returning to a place and a club I love is really special,” he said. 

White re-signed with Rugby Australia in order to take part in this year’s Rugby World Cup in Japan and has since gone on to become the nations first-choice scrum-half ahead of Will Genia. 

Brumbies head coach Dan McKellar is excited for White’s return and believes that he will bring a lot to the squad. 

“We are thrilled to have Whitey returning to the Brumbies,” head coach, Dan McKellar commented. “He’s a world-class player, a player who demands very high standards of himself and expects the same of others. His work ethic, competitive nature and leadership will be so important to our squad when he returns,” he said. 

During his first stint with the Aussie franchise he scored 162 points over 67 appearances before playing two seasons with French Top 14 outfit Montpellier and is currently starring for Exeter in the English Premiership

Having made his Wallabies debut in 2013, he has gone on to feature in 29 tests and is set to play his 30th game for his country when they take on Uruguay on Friday where he is in the starting line-up as the Aussies look to end the pool stages with another win and having a chance to finish top of Pool C. 

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