Mercury (Hobart)

Leppa back with mate McRae


INCOMING Collingwoo­d head of strategy Justin Leppitsch says his strong relationsh­ip with Craig McRae and tailored role were what lured him back to the AFL.

Leppitsch and Brenton Bolton, both former senior coaches, will be key lieutenant­s for McRae in his first stint in charge as Nathan Buckley’s successor at the Magpies.

Leppitsch said his role would combine strategy, team defence and the backline.

An early priority is ensuring Darcy Moore remains in defence, not up forward.

“I’m so looking forward to it – I really am,” Leppitsch told SEN radio.

“I’m just so rapt to get back into it (with) a new group, and a really motivated group as well, that wants to improve.”

He stepped down as an assistant coach at Richmond last year, after spending eight of the previous 11 seasons at Punt Rd, including for the Tigers’ three flags.

Leppitsch was the senior coach at Brisbane from 2014-16, before returning to Richmond for the 2017 season.

McRae and Leppitsch lived together for three months after the Lions (then the Bears) recruited the former in the 1993 pre-season draft.

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