Auck­land’s loss is North­land’s gain

Auckland City Harbour News - - News - By Scott Mor­gan

The sur­prise omis­sion of Gram­mar Carl­ton first five Lachie Munro from Auck­land’s Air New Zealand Cup squad next year could be a bless­ing in dis­guise for the young­ster.

Twenty-one-year-old Munro will play his rugby in North­land next sea­son un­der the guid­ance of North­land player and for­mer Hur­ri­canes and Blues num­ber 10 David Hol­well.

“I was def­i­nitely sur­prised. I thought I’d done enough to stay in the prov­ince,” he says.

“But it’s a good chal­lenge to go some­where else and work on my game for the Blues in 2010.”

Munro was told he missed out on an Auck­land con­tract be­cause he needs to learn to take more con­trol of pro­vin­cial games, like he does in club rugby.

And he’s hop­ing the ex­pe­ri­enced Hol­well will be able to help guide him in the right di­rec­tion.

“The way he con­trols the game and his lead­er­ship are the things I will be able to take from him.”

How­ever Gram­mar Carl­ton fans might get to see Munro turn out for the side in some early sea­son matches next year, be­fore he heads to North­land in May.

“It’s been my club since I was five years old, so it will be pretty dif­fer­ent go­ing some­where else to play.”

Gram­mar Carl­ton coach Bran­don Jack­son says Munro’s de­par­ture will be a loss for the club, who were knocked out of the Gal­la­her Shield semi­fi­nals in Au­gust.

“He’s a very good club man, who played very well for us this sea­son.”

There are sev­eral pos­si­bil­i­ties for Jack­son to con­sider at first five next sea­son, in­clud­ing Auck­land squad mem­ber Ash Moeke, who was loaned to North­land for the Air NZ Cup.

Jack­son says go­ing to North­land should pro­vide Munro with the op­por­tu­nity to play be­hind a more ex­pe­ri­enced for­ward pack than the young Auck­land side who took the field this sea­son.

“It’s a kick in the guts, but it’s also an op­por­tu­nity for him. The thing he’s got to do is not get too up­set about it.”

North­land coach Mark An­scombe says they had no hes­i­ta­tion sign­ing Munro.

Hol­well’s play­ing fu­ture is un­de­cided, but he’s still ex­pected to have some role in the team next year.

“With the op­por­tu­nity to get a classy first five like Lachie, we had to jump on it. The more time he spends with David, the more it will ben­e­fit Lachie in the fu­ture.”

Photo: JA­SON OX­EN­HAM

New start: Gram­mar Carl­ton first five Lachie Munro, in action here against Pa­p­a­toe­toe ear­lier this year, is off to North­land next sea­son be­cause he was un­wanted by Auck­land.

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