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King Carlos returns as Blues assistant coach

By Sam Smith
Carlos Spencer. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

Former Blues superstar and fan favourite, Carlos Spencer, is back where he made a name for himself – signing on as the Blues women’s backs coach for Super Rugby Aupiki 2023.

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Spencer, a member of the inaugural Blues side from 1996 played 99 times in nine seasons for the club and said he is “beyond stoked” to be back with the Blues whanau.

He brings a wealth of playing and coaching experience to the role, the latter with several stints in South Africa and more recently with the Hurricanes in Super Rugby and New Orleans Gold in Major League Rugby in America.

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“When I was playing, I always liked to bring a bit of innovation and ‘out-the-box’ thinking to the table,” said Spencer.

“Now as a coach I want to encourage and help grow those same traits in our nib Blues wahine.”

Spencer said the impact of the recent Rugby World Cup has been a joy to watch and expects Super Rugby Aupiki to benefit from the Black Ferns’ World Cup success.

“You’ve seen the rise of women’s rugby and the way the public got right in behind the Black Ferns recently.”

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“We’re at an exciting juncture for the sport and I’m really looking forward to getting involved and doing what I can to help grow and support women’s rugby.”

Spencer joins head coach Willie Walker and fellow assistant coach Linda Itunu in the Blues support staff and said he’s excited to get started on the Aupiki campaign plan with them.

“I’ve known Willie for a while, we’ve thrown the touch ball around and have a good relationship,” said Spencer.

“He’s done some fantastic work with the Auckland Storm in the Farah Palmer Cup and I’m looking forward to exchanging ideas and getting the backline humming.”

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“I don’t know Linda personally but have seen her exploits on the rugby field for many years with the Black Ferns – she was certainly an enforcer on the field and I’m sure she’ll keep Willie and I in-line off it!”

Meanwhile, Blues CEO, Andrew Hore, said the newest coaching appointment exemplifies the club’s commitment to the region.

“To have someone of Carlos’ calibre and mana join our team here at Blues HQ is very special,” said Hore.

“We are a club for our community, from our community, so to have a former player return as a coach fills us with blue pride,” he said.

– Blues Rugby

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