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Scarlets issue statement as All Blacks come knocking

By Ian Cameron
All Blacks perform a haka prior to a test against Wales. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

The Scarlets have issued a statement confirming that the All Blacks have made an approach over their head coach Brad Mooar.

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In a move that will worry fans, the PRO14 side also admitted that discussions are at ‘an early stage’ with the NZR.

New All Blacks head coach Ian Foster is eager to bring Mooar back to New Zealand.

The statement reads:

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“We have been made aware that newly-appointed All Blacks head coach Ian Foster would like Scarlets head coach Brad Mooar to join his New Zealand coaching team at the end of the 2019-20 season.

“Discussions between the Scarlets and New Zealand Rugby are at an early stage and we are unable to comment further until those discussions are concluded.

“In the meantime, Brad, the coaching team and playing group, are firmly focused on this evening’s crucial European Challenge Cup match against Bayonne, followed by the big Welsh derby matches over the festive season.”

Mooar has made a highly successful start to his reign at Scarlets, have moved from Super Rugby champions Crusaders.

Mooar progressed through the Canterbury age grades as a flyhalf, reaching Canterbury B level. He played for Mid-Canterbury from 1997-1999 and then played overseas before returning to Christchurch to take up coaching.

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His first coaching role was with the Christchurch Colts and then the club’s premier team from 2007 to 2011. In 2011 he became the assistant coach of the Canterbury Colts.

In 2012 he moved to South Africa to coach the EP Kings then become assistant coach of the Southern Kings Super Rugby side under Matt Sexton’s leadership. He returned to New Zealand to take up the head coach and Director of Rugby role at Southland.

Away from the rugby field Mooar is a qualified solicitor and was admitted as barrister and solicitor to High Court of New Zealand in 1997.

Later today Wales internationals Wyn Jones, Jake Ball and Gareth Davies will make their first appearances of the season as the Scarlets continue their push for European Challenge Cup qualification at home to Bayonne.

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SCARLETS (v Bayonne; Parc y Scarlets Saturday, Dec 14, 7.45pm)
15 Leigh Halfpenny; 14 Ryan Conbeer, 13 Corey Baldwin, 12 Steff Hughes (capt), 11 Steff Evans; 10 Angus O’Brien, 9 Gareth Davies; 1 Wyn Jones, 2 Ryan Elias, 3 Javan Sebastian, 4 Jake Ball, 5 Sam Lousi, 6 Lewis Rawlins, 7 Jac Morgan, 8 Uzair Cassiem.
Replacements: 16 Marc Jones, 17 Rob Evans, 18 Werner Kruger, 19 Danny Drake, 20 Ed Kennedy, 21 Kieran Hardy, 22 Dan Jones, 23 Paul Asquith.

Unavailable because of injury
Rhys Patchell (shoulder), Jonathan Davies (knee), James Davies (back), Aaron Shingler (knee), Samson Lee (shoulder), Kieron Fonotia (calf), Tom Prydie (hamstring), Tom Phillips (hand), Taylor Davies (knee), Dan Davis (foot), Joe Roberts (knee).

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M
Mzilikazi 8 hours ago
Swashbuckling Hurricanes and Harlequins show scrum still matters

I always enjoy a good scrum based article. Thanks, Nick. The Hurricanes are looking more and more the team to beat down here in Australasia. They are a very well balanced team. And though there are far fewer scrums in the game these days, destructive power in that area is a serious weapon, especially an attacking scrum within in the red zone. Aumua looked very good as a young first year player, but then seemed to fade. He sure is back now right in the picture for the AB’s. And I would judge that Taukei’aho is in a bit of a slump currently. Watching him at Suncorp a few weeks ago, I thought he was not as dominant in the game as I would have expected. I am going to raise an issue in that scrum at around the 13 min mark. I see a high level of danger there for the TH lifted off the ground. He is trapped between the opposition LH and his own powerful SR. His neck is being put under potentially dangerous pressure. The LH has, in law , no right to use his superior scrummaging skill….getting his head right in on the breastbone of the TH…..to force him up and off the ground. Had the TH popped out of the scrum, head up and free, there is no danger, that is a clear penalty to the dominant scrum. The law is quite clear on this issue: Law 37 Dangerous play and restricted practices in a scrum. C:Intentionally lifting an opponent off their feet or forcing them upwards out of the scrum. Sanction: Penalty. Few ,if any, referees seem to be aware of this law, and/or the dangers of the situation. Matthew Carly, refereeing Clermont v Munster in 2021, penalised the Munster scrum, when LH Wycherly was lifted very high, and in my view very dangerously, by TH Slimani. Lifting was coached in the late ‘60’s/70’s. Both Lions props, Ray McLouglin, and “Mighty Mouse” McLauchlan, were expert and highly successful at this technique. I have seen a photo, which I can’t find online atm, of MM with a NZ TH(not an AB) on his head, MM standing upright as the scrum disintegrates.

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