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Blues coach Tom Coventry recommits to franchise for two more years

By Alex McLeod
Photo: Andrew Cornaga / www.Photosport.nz

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Blues forwards coach Tom Coventry has inked a fresh two-year contract extension that will keep him at the Auckland-based franchise until 2024.

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Coventry has been part of the Blues set-up since joining from North Harbour in 2019 and has played an integral role in helping the side develop into one of the strongest teams in Super Rugby.

That much was reflected by their title-winning campaign in last year’s Super Rugby Trans-Tasman, the third Super Rugby crown Coventry has won after assisting the Chiefs to back-to-back championships in 2012 and 2013.

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Winning that silverware is representative of the rejuvenation the Blues have undergone over the past two seasons, which has seen them shed their under-achiever status and blossom into a Super Rugby Pacific title frontrunner this season.

Coventry revealed on Tuesday that being part of that renaissance played a significant role in his decision to stay onboard with the Blues for a further two years. 

“It was an easy decision, actually. It’s been a really good three or four years for me here and I felt the club’s in a good space moving forward,” Coventry told media of his contract extension.

“I enjoy the coaching staff when I join the team and I’m happy being in Auckland at the moment, too, with my family and it’s good to be able to secure another season with the team.

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“You feel like you’re part of the growth of the outfit. You’re one of many, but being part of change, part of recruiting players into the group that hopefully are going to make a difference, and continue onwards, that’s a big part of it.

“I feel like I’m part of the fabric at the moment. Like rugby, it can be tenuous at times, but you enjoy the good times over the past couple of seasons, and there’s been a lot of good times to focus back on.”

Formerly a coach at Hawke’s Bay, the Chiefs, London Irish and North Harbour, Coventry provides the Blues with plenty of experience and expertise as part of a strong coaching lineup led by head coach Leon MacDonald.

Coventry’s fellow assistants include scrum coach Ben Afeaki, backs coach Dan Halangahu and strength and conditioning coach Phil Healy, all of whom work alongside each other well, according to Blues chief executive Andrew Hore.

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“We are thrilled to have Tom continue with the Blues,” Hore said via a statement.

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“Together with our head coach Leon MacDonald, Dan Halangahu, Ben Afeaki and our strength and conditions coach Phil Healey, we have seen this group develop into an outstanding coaching unit.

“The individuals have such different skillsets, but they have gelled together so well. They have great respect for eachother, but can also ask the tough questions.

“Tom knows what it takes to be successful and together with Ben, they have developed a formidable forward pack.”

Coventry and the Blues will kick their 2022 Super Rugby Pacific campaign off next month when the face cross-town rivals Moana Pasifika at Mt Smart Stadium on February 18.

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