HE’S BACK

Hay­den Triggs be­comes coach

Manawatu Standard - - Front Page - SHAUN EADE

For­mer New Zealand Ma¯ ori lock Hay­den Triggs will launch his coach­ing ca­reer with Col­lege Old Boys in Manawatu¯ club rugby next year.

The 35-year-old and Manawatu¯ De­vel­op­ment XV coach Ben James have been con­firmed as co-coaches for the Palmer­ston North club.

Triggs pulled the pin on his play­ing days ear­lier this year end­ing his no­madic ca­reer af­ter 15 years at the top level. He made his pro­vin­cial de­but for Manawatu¯ while based at the Lin­ton Army Camp in 2002, play­ing 71 games.

Triggs made his Su­per Rugby de­but for the Hur­ri­canes in 2007 be­fore sign­ing with the High­landers in 2008. In 2009 he moved to Otago, play­ing 26 games be­fore spend­ing a sea­son with the Chiefs in 2011 then go­ing to Ja­pan.

In 2014 he was called into the Blues and opted to re­turn to New Zealand full­time by sign­ing with North Har­bour, play­ing 20 games in two years.

He played the final of his 65 Su­per Rugby games in 2015 be­fore mov­ing to Ire­land to play for Le­in­ster. He re­tired in May 2017.

But Triggs has not waited long to get back in­volved in rugby, pick­ing up the job with COB.

The club, which has not missed the semi­fi­nals since 2008, was search­ing for a coach to take over for John ‘Snow’ Cru­den, who served as an interim coach when they let go of Sonny Waqatairewa mid-way through the sea­son.

Triggs’ co-coach James, who played with Triggs in club rugby in the 2000s, took over as Lin­ton Army coach in 2016, but spent most of 2017 de­ployed over­seas.

James said his de­ci­sion to switch al­le­giance was a com­bi­na­tion of him look­ing to grow his coach­ing ca­reer and a chance to work along side his mate.

‘‘It was all about per­sonal de­vel­op­ment and just try­ing to put my­self out of my com­fort zone,’’ he said. ‘‘When you coach peo­ple you work with, it is a lit­tle bit eas­ier

than coach­ing peo­ple who are new and deal­ing with peo­ple you have never met.’’

He said he learnt a lot in his first sea­son as head coach of the De­vel­op­ment XV and has as­pi­ra­tions to go be­yond that level.

‘‘Even­tu­ally the goal would be a Tur­bos po­si­tion. But I am un­der no il­lu­sion, that could be a while away.’’

Coach­ing peren­nial ti­tle con­tenders COB should give James a smoother ride than Lin­ton, con­sid­er­ing he will have the same group of play­ers avail­able week to week. At Lin­ton he went through more than 60 play­ers in a sea­son due to the sol­diers’ avail­abil­ity.

James said he made it clear to COB he would not use his Lin­ton links to re­cruit play­ers from his for­mer side.

And he will not be adding him­self to the play­ing pool ei­ther, but was keep­ing his fin­gers crossed that Triggs would change his mind and play part of the sea­son.

‘‘Hope­fully you will be see­ing [Triggs] pulling on his boots, but you won’t be see­ing me. He is pretty adamant he is not go­ing to put the boots on, but we will see.’’

The club coach­ing panel is start­ing to take shape with seven of nine clubs con­firm­ing the men to lead them in 2018.

Af­ter con­tem­plat­ing step­ping aside, Reece Robin­son has opted to re­turn to Old Boys-marist in a bid to de­fend the Hank­ins Shield, his third sea­son as head coach.

Ber­tus Mul­der is back with Kia Toa. In his first sea­son as head coach, he took the team to the Hank­ins Shield final in 2017.

Scott Lewis re­turns with Var­sity, and will be as­sisted by Daz Hors­ley.

Lewis took over from Koli Se­wabu last sea­son and led the side to the Ju­bilee Cup and Cen­ten­nial Shield ti­tles, be­fore be­ing up­set by Kia Toa in the semi­fi­nals.

Also re­turn­ing is Glen Gre­gory with Feild­ing Old Boys-o¯ roua af­ter a 2017 sea­son that fell just shy of the semi­fi­nals and ended in the Val Hol­land tro­phy. He will have Paula Maisiri and Mur­ray Ste­wart back as as­sis­tants.

Kelvin Tantrum is stay­ing with Feild­ing Yel­lows af­ter tak­ing over from Sean Bris­tow mid-sea­son.

Michael Lalo­gafau and Glen Chris­tini will con­tinue with Frey­berg for a third sea­son.

Te Kawau have yet to con­firm their coach, but it won’t be Alis­tair Mitchell. Mitchell is trav­el­ling over­seas dur­ing part of the sea­son so de­cided it would be bet­ter for some­one else who could com­mit for the full sea­son to take charge.

Lin­ton Army were led by James, Ross Rain­ham and Dwayne Eriks­son for the last two years, but Rain­ham de­cided at the end of the club sea­son he would not re­turn.

Club cap­tain Lyall Mooney said they were in the process of se­lect­ing their coach for next year, but con­firmed Eriks­son would be back in some ca­pac­ity.

PHOTO: GETTY

Hay­den Triggs will start his coach­ing ca­reer in club rugby with Col­lege Old Boys.

PHOTO: WARWICK SMITH/ FAIR­FAX NZ

Ben James is switch­ing from Lin­ton Army to be a co-coach at COB.

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