Harlequins' new head coach revealed on New Zealand television
The news was revealed on the Sky NZ’s The Breakdown show over the weekend, although rumours had been circulating around his appointment for some time.
Tabai Matson is the new @Harlequins head coach. Revealed on The Breakdown, @skysportnz. Matson is a former assistant coach of the @crusadersrugby and @ChiefsRugby and current head coach of NZ under20s. A former @AllBlacks and @fijirugby midfielder. pic.twitter.com/IOiIEv6mXk
— Jim Kayes (@JimKayes) June 28, 2021
Matson has an impressive rugby resumé kicking off at senior level with Canterbury at a provincial level followed by the Crusaders in Super Rugby. He earned an All Blacks jersey in 1995/96 and then went on to play two matches for Fiji at the 1999 Rugby World Cup.
Matson left his position as Head Coach of Bath to return to New Zealand due to family reasons in 2017.
Quins beat the holders Exeter 40-38 on Saturday in a Twickenham final full of superb tries and unrelenting drama. Only 10,000 fans were allowed into the 82,000-capacity stadium across the road from Quins’ home ground but it sounded like a full house as they generated a wonderful atmosphere, energised by the total commitment to high-octane attack from both sides.
The only previous time that Harlequins reached the Premiership Final was as No 1 seeds in 2012 when they beat Leicester at Twickenham to take the spoils. Quins only defeat in their last seven appearances at Twickenham in all competitions was 29-39 to London Irish in the London Double Header in 2017.
Exeter won both encounters with Harlequins in the regular season, winning 33-3 at the Stoop in November and by a single point in a thriller at Sandy Park in March.
It was a massive turnaround in Harlequins’ fortune after former Director of Rugby Paul Gustard was given his marching orders earlier in the season after a string of losses and rumours of tension between the former flanker and members of Quins senior playing squad.
Billy Millard took over as General Manager of Rugby of the club and helped lead them to their first Premiership title in nine years. The West London club are yet to confirm the signing of Matson.
– additional reporting AAP
Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.Sign Up Now