Lions boss Warren Gatland lands new coaching role
British & Irish Lions guru Warren Gatland has landed a new coaching role – and it’s another amalgamation team. Gatland will helm the New Zealand Barbarian Rugby Club ahead of their first set of game in two years. The 58-year-old takes over the head coach role and will be assisted by former All Black Jarrad Hoeata and Roger Randle.
Gatland is pumped bout steering the team against the New Zealand Heartland XV. The former Wales head coach has plenty of previous Barbarians experience and is looking forward to showcasing some of New Zealand’s finest up and coming talent.
“I’ve been privileged to give opportunities to a number of players in red (with Wales and the British and Irish Lions) and this match will be no different for the up and coming stars who will don the Baabaas red jersey.
“Barbarians’ rugby is all about providing opportunities, camaraderie, enjoyment and supporting grass roots rugby, and I’m excited to be a part of the team,” said the current Waikato Chiefs director of rugby.
“The team assembles on Friday evening which only gives us one training session before we take the field. Roger and Jarrad both have extensive knowledge of the players chosen and will play a big role in preparing the team, so I’m confident we’ll be in good stead come Sunday.”
Gatland working with the team was described as a major coup for NZ BaaBaas, who have limited by the pandemic.
“Auckland’s border restrictions prevented the original management squad from travelling, however we’re extremely excited with the coaching team assembled, and having Gats take the reins,” said New Zealand Barbarian President Bernie Allen. “After a two year break, it’s also exciting to see players pull on the red jersey and have the opportunity to showcase their talent and prove their spot in the team.”
The New Zealand Barbarians assemble in Taup? on Friday, 3 December, ahead of their fixture against the New Zealand Heartland XV. The match will be played at 2pm, 5 December NZ time at Owen Delany Park, Taup?, and will be aired live on Sky Sport.
2021 New Zealand Barbarians squad:
Solomone Tukuafu (Waikato)
Joseph Gavigan (Manawatu)
Mills Sanerevi (Taranaki)
Bryn Gordon (New Zealand Barbarians U20 – Manawatu)
Michael Bent (Taranaki)
Flyn Yates (Manawatu)
James Thompson (Waikato)
Frank Lochore (Hawkes Bay)
Cruise Dunster (King Country)
Semisi Paea (Bay of Plenty)
Sam Smith (Wellington)
Veveni Lasaqa (Bay of Plenty)
Keelan Whitman (Wellington)
Leroy Carter (Bay of Plenty)
Connor Collins (Wellington)
Josh Jacomb (Taranaki)
D’Angelo Leuila (Waikato)
Quinnlan Tupou (Waikato)
Louis Rogers (Waikato)
Te Paea Cook-Savage (Waikato)
Taniela Filimone (Manawatu)
Vereniki Tikoisolomone (Taranaki)
Drew Wild (Manawatu)
Head Coach: Warren Gatland (Waikato Chiefs)
Jarrad Hoeata (Taranaki)
Roger Randle (Waikato Chiefs)
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