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Waikato appoint new head coach


Waikato appoint centurion to lead team in Premiership

Former Waikato stalwart and centurion Andrew Strawbridge has been appointed as the new head coach of Waikato for the 2019 Mitre 10 Cup season.

Strawbridge is currently one of the Chiefs assistant coaches and was a part of the coaching team that led the Chiefs to back to back Super Rugby titles in 2012 and 2013.

At the provincial level, he oversaw North Harbour for two seasons (2003-04) and Auckland for three seasons (2009-11). Strawbridge was also a part of the New Zealand Under 20’s campaign that saw them win two world titles.

54-year-old Strawbridge played 131 games for Waikato between 1983 and 1995, scoring 646 points via 53 tries, 83 conversions, 78 penalties and 5 drop goals.

Andrew Strawbridge said “Having played for the province, it is a huge honour for me to have this opportunity to coach a team I have strong ties too. The key to the 2019 season is to maintain and to continue to build on the success that the team achieved in 2018.”

Waikato CEO Blair Foote said “The Waikato Rugby Union is very pleased to announce Andrew Strawbridge as the new Head Coach of the Mitre 10 Cup team for the 2019 season. Strawbridge is another former player turned coach that understands the pride and the passion in the province and the jersey; we are privileged to have a coach of his calibre joining our coaching staff.

He brings a wealth of experience and coaching knowledge to the position and we look forward to seeing him put his unique stamp on the squad in 2019 and beyond.”

Waikato will make their return to the competition’s Premiership division after taking out the Championship in 2018, beating Otago 36-13 in the final.

Jono Gibbes, head coach during the successful 2018 season that included a Ranfurly Shield victory and two successful defences, moves on to join French club La Rochelle.

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Waikato appoint centurion to lead team in Premiership
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