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Tigers' Kiwi assistant faces ABs

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Another Kiwi coach lined up with a minnow nation to tackle New Zealand at the World Cup

A second Kiwi has signed up with an international rugby minnow for a shot at the All Blacks at the World Cup in Japan. 

It was last week when RugbyPass explained how Dale McIntosh, the New Zealander capped by Wales, was extraordinarily going from working hotel security at the 2015 World Cup to working as Namibia’s assistant coach at the 2019 finals. 

Now, fellow Kiwi Boris Stankovich has also come on board for the finals, the Leicester Tigers scrum coach coming to an agreement with Geordan Murphy that will see him assist Canada – another of the minnow teams in New Zealand’s pool – at the finals in Japan.  

Stankovich’s link-up with the Canadians didn’t get off to the greatest of starts as his new team were comfortably beaten in their Pacific Nations Cup opener last Saturday by America.

However, Canada boss Kingsley Jones is thrilled to have the Kiwi, capped at under-19 level by England, along for the journey that will eventually see them come face to face with the All Blacks and South Africa, along with Italy and McIntosh’s Namibia.   

“Boris is a great addition. He’s someone with vast experience, particularly as a player,” said Jones of Stankovich, the prop who appeared 119 times in Leicester colours following spells at Bath, London Irish and Albi.

Stankovich also played under Jones at Newport Gwent Dragons between 2014 and 2016 before returning to Tigers to oversee scrummaging at every level of the club.

“Boris played at Leicester for seven years – a renowned, formidable forward unit – and he’s a big part of that,” continued Jones on the Leicester Tigers website. “He’s an excellent guy and will be a great support for myself and the team. We’re really pleased that Leicester have afforded him this opportunity to work with us.”

After losing to the USA in Glendale, Canada now take on Fiji on August 2 and Tonga on August 8 as they attempt to up their game ahead of the finals. “The props particularly need someone with (Boris’) experience,” Jones continued. “We’ve got some really good props – young guys as well as experienced ones, a good balance.

“The front row can be an area of strength for us going into the Pacific Nations Cup, which (serves as) a great team-building effort and an exercise in building continuity and cohesion going into the World Cup. Boris’ experience will help us get every bit out of it.”

Stankovich will be back in Leicester at the conclusion of Canada’s PNC campaign before re-joining the set-up prior to the World Cup in September. He will return to Welford Road in the opening rounds of the new season’s Gallagher Premiership.

WATCH: Part one of The Academy, the six-part RugbyPass documentary series on the Leicester Tigers academy which includes contributions from Boris Stankovich

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Another Kiwi coach lined up with a minnow nation to tackle New Zealand at the World Cup