Pine shoots for the Stags

The Southland Times - - SPORT - LO­GAN SAVORY

South­land’s most suc­cess­ful club coach dur­ing the past decade has ap­plied for the va­cant Stags job.

Damien Pine con­firmed on Wednesday that he is keen on a shot at coach­ing the South­land team and has al­ready put his CV into the mix.

The po­si­tion be­came va­cant when Hoani Macdon­ald stood down from the role fol­low­ing a re­view into the 2017 sea­son.

South­land-based coaches Peter Skelt and Craig Pullar have al­ready in­di­cated they will ap­ply for the role.

Pine is the lat­est South­land­based coach to put his hand up and say he is ready for an op­por­tu­nity.

Pine coached Wood­lands for 10 sea­sons which in­cluded eight fi­nals ap­pear­ances and five Gal­braith Shield ti­tles.

He has moved through coach­ing ranks.

That in­cludes coach­ing the John McGlashan first XV in Dunedin, and Te Anau and Wood­lands in club rugby in South­land.

Pine has also spent time in rep­re­sen­ta­tive po­si­tions with South­land rugby, in­clud­ing both the South­land Metro and South­land sev­ens teams.

It is the third time Pine has ap­plied for the role.

He hopes it will be third time lucky.

The In­ver­cargill lawyer feels he has the or­gan­i­sa­tional ex­per­tise to lead a strong cam­paign.

With the right tech­ni­cal ex­per­tise around him, in terms of as­sis­tant coaches, he be­lieves he could form a good coach­ing setup.

Ja­son Kawau, who has been the as­sis­tant coach with the Stags for the past two sea­sons, re­mains con­tracted to Rugby South­land.

He would be part of pro­vid­ing that tech­ni­cal knowl­edge.

The Stags job was of­fi­cially ad­ver­tised last week and ap­pli­ca­tions close on November 27.

There are plenty of pro­vin­cial op­por­tu­ni­ties open for coaches at the mo­ment.

While the Taranaki job has been filled with Wil­lie Rickards ap­pointed, South­land, Otago, the Auck­land, and Hawke’s Bay have all been look­ing for new coaches as well.

Mean­while, Pine has taken over the South­land sev­ens team this year as they pre­pare for their cam­paign this sum­mer.

Pine has pre­vi­ously coached the team be­fore Bryan Milne took over.

How­ever, Milne has since moved to Christchurch which has prompted Pine to step back in.

The South­land sev­ens pro­gramme has strug­gled in re­cent years and Pine con­cedes they will have a lim­ited buildup this year lead­ing into the na­tional qual­i­fy­ing tour­na­ment in Ti­maru on De­cem­ber 9.

He said while many prov­inces were very fo­cused on sev­ens suc­cess in terms of re­sults, South­land would this year use it as a de­vel­op­ment tool for their 15s pro­gramme.

The squad started train­ing on Mon­day and it in­cludes a host of academy play­ers as they use sev­ens to help im­prove their con­di­tion­ing and skills.

Pine said many other prov­inces were al­ready play­ing build up tour­na­ments but South­land’s first out­ing would be at the na­tional qual­i­fier in Ti­maru.

South­land is not reg­is­tered to play in a tour­na­ment in­volv­ing south­ern prov­inces in Oa­maru on November 25.

Be­cause of South­land’s lo­ca­tion, Pine said it was hard to find other warm up tour­na­ments they could eas­ily at­tend for prepa­ra­tion.

In­stead, they will play games in­ter­nally and have taken the pos­i­tive out­look around their buildup, in re­gard to other teams not get­ting a look at them in ac­tion be­fore qual­i­fy­ing.

JOHN HAWKINS

Damien Pine is the lat­est South­land-based coach to put his name in the mix for the va­cant Stags po­si­tion.

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