North Harbour have announced a new head coach for their 2019 campaign.
Kieran Keane will succeed the outgoing Tom Coventry, who has joined the Blues Super Rugby franchise as an assistant coach.
64-year-old Keane is a former midfielder for Canterbury and the All Blacks with vast coaching experience. He previously coached Tasman in the Mitre 10 Cup and has been involved with the Chiefs and Highlanders. Most recently he led Irish side Connacht in the Pro14.
North Harbour’s General Manager David Gibson said it was an important appointment for both the Union and community.
“Our purpose is to improve lives, through rugby, and to be a community-driven organisation, and although Kieran is not from the region these values came through really strongly, so that is exciting,” Gibson said.
“What is also exciting is the experience and knowledge that Kieran brings having spent time coaching at all levels of the game both domestically and internationally.
“He showed a real hunger to share what he has learnt to help grow the players and the next generation of Harbour coaches as we look further to the future.”
Keane is looking forward to joining the province as he looks to take them to the top of the Mitre 10 Cup’s Premiership division.
“I am extremely excited and privileged about the opportunity to support the growth of rugby in the province.” Keane said.
“Throughout this process it has become clear that there is a drive to improve on what has been achieved.
“Harbour has been led well by a strong player group, coaching and management staff and I am looking forward to adding value where I can to strengthen what is already a proud union.”
Keane will begin working with the union in February.
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