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Former All Blacks scrum coach Greg Feek lands with the Blues

By Ned Lester
All Blacks assistant coaches Greg Feek, John Plumtree and Scott McLeod run through drills during a New Zealand All Blacks training session (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

The Blues have landed recent All Blacks scrum guru Greg Feek ahead of the 2024 Super Rugby Pacific season.

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Feek was the mind behind a New Zealand scrum that improved dramatically throughout the 2023 Rugby World Cup, having bested Ireland, Argentina and even outperforming the South African scrum on paper in the knockout stages.

He’ll oversee a Blues front-row unit that has lost one of the game’s best in Nepo Laulala but added the services of Angus Ta’avao to mitigate that loss.

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“There’s been a bit of movement in Super Rugby coaching circles after the World Cup so when the opportunity at the Blues came up, I jumped at the chance,” Feek said of his appointment.

“What really excites me is the chance to work with some of the younger Blues boys. The likes of Joshua Fusitu’a and PJ Sheck are at the start of their Super Rugby journeys, and it’s my job to come in and help them improve.

“There’s also guys like Ofa [Tuungafasi] and Gus [Ta’avao] who I’ve worked with previously, so it will be nice to go in with some established relationships.”

Established relationships in the coaching box as well as on the field, as new Blues head coach Vern Cotter was forwards coach at the Crusaders while Feek was finishing his playing career there in 2005.

“I’ve played under Vern and coached against him in the Six Nations when I was with Ireland. I have a lot of respect for him and I’m looking forward to working with him as a coach.

“Similarly, I’ve played with and against (Blues assistant coaches) Jason O’Halloran, Paul Tito and Craig McGrath. It’s great to be able to reconnect and give back to the game we love.”

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The former All Blacks prop was heavily endorsed by Blues GM of Rugby Josh Blackie, who said he’s the right man to come along at the right time.

“Greg’s a proven coach with a wealth of knowledge and experience. We want to develop our propping stocks here at the Blues and think he is the right man to take the scrum forward,” he said.

The Blues have clearly expressed a clear goal for the 2024 season, and Feek is familiar with the challenge of being within reach of silverware.

“From what I’ve seen and heard, this is a Blues side who want to win a championship. As a coach it’s great to have a hungry group of athletes who are willing to work towards that common goal.”

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Red and White Dynamight 4 hours ago
Duhan van der Merwe hat-trick sinks sloppy England to win Calcutta Cup

Up the Jocks ! a great team effort and 4 victories v on the bounce v their greatest rivals for those north of Hadrians. But, of course, before the celebrations survive the first pint of McEwans, it seems for some this Calcutta Cup match was merely 1 man v 15. What exactly is it about Sth Africans that make them such insufferable bores ? you rarely see Kiwis claiming Ireland victories (incl 3 x NZers) or Aussies for that matter (X1). You never see Samoans claiming France/England victories (Tuilagis). Or Fijians claim All Black victories. Scotland have had some great Kiwi-born players (S.Lineen/B.Laney/J.Leslie) - no surprise given their heritage - but they supported them as their ‘2nd team’. If anything they applaud their countrymen for taking opportunities and bettering themselves as professionals and, hopefully, competing on the World stage too. It takes some stratospheric level of stupid to ignore the opaque boundaries and qualifications that now allow Japan to be competitive, Portugal to win a RWC game, Argentinians to play for Italy, New Zealanders to dominate Tongan and Samoan teams - and not celebrate that World Rugby is more competitive and better for it. Everywhere on social media, even when the post has zero to do with Sth Africans (schoolboy rugby being the most obvious barrel-scraping eg - these are KIDS), they pile in and try to claim the “we are better/stronger/faster” with such voluminous levels of obnoxious bile, that it poisons the mere celebration of the sport itself. These are not ‘rugby fans’ that can marvel at the Game they Play in Heaven, but rather some misplaced insecure-fuelled poison that they need to extract from deep inside their psyche. Its hard to understand the exact reason for the massive chip on their shoulders and their desperation for the victimhood/noone-loves-us-we-dont-care, but it seems accelerated with their LOTTO Cup 1-pt wins, like gasoline on the fire. Obsessed with ‘cheating’ refs and ‘cheating’ opposition (Rassies video bloopers during Lions tour; McCaw’s whole career) and celebrating their own thuggery (#JUSTICE4 the dirtiest player in pro-rugby history), when luck suddenly goes their way (1995 Final vs an acutely comprimised ABs; Kilosi<->Cane cards in 2023 Final) or their players escape adequate penalty (Etzebeth 1-handed non-intercepts; Kolbe illegal chargedown; Etzebeth cynically retreating in the AB backline) so obviously that its clearly been coached, then suddenly its AOK as long its SA that benefit directly from it. The schizophrenic nature of Sth Africans presents them as good company in person - and lets face it, theyre EVERYWHERE now and cant get out of their own country fast enough - but as anonymous keyboard ninjas their true nature shines out as one beset with a dark undercurrent of toxic self-absorption. It appears that the bravado appears only under the protection of anonymity, a cowardice of insufferable reverse-flagellation to make themselves feel proud when the mirror stares back at them. Give yourselves a long slow clap. Well done to the entire Scotland team including all those born south of Hadrians Wall. Playing a fantastic fast pace of fluid ball-in-hands rugby that seems almost foreign to other teams. Och aye the noo.

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