Kite a Strawbridge fan
President of O¯ haupo¯ RFC David Kite has fond memories of Waikato rugby legend Andrew Strawbridge playing for his club.
“It was in 1995 and we won the Waikato Mooloo Shield, beating Te Awamutu Marist 22-3 in the final at Waikato Stadium,” recalls Kite.
“Andrew proved a great asset for us both on and off the field that year.
“He was certainly an inspirational figure, especially to the younger players in our senior team.”
The triumphant Ohaupo¯ ¯ team of 1995 was captained by former All Black Graham Purvis.
Kite said he was pleased to see Strawbridge appointed as the new head coach of Waikato for the 2019 Mitre 10 Cup.
“Andrew brings a wealth of experience and coaching knowledge to the position,” said Waikato CEO Blair Foote.
“Andrew 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.
“We look forward to seeing him put his unique stamp on the squad in 2019 and beyond.”
The 54-year-old Strawbridge is currently one of the Chiefs’ assistant coaches after joining the team in 2012.
He was brought in by head coach Dave Rennie, and was a part of the coaching team that led the Chiefs to back to back Super Rugby titles in 2012 and 2013.
After finishing his playing career with Waikato at the end of 1995, Strawbridge went into secondary school teaching for 20 years in various roles including assistant teacher, head of department, assistant principal and deputy principal.
After his teaching career, Strawbridge then moved into his coaching career.
In his coaching roles he looked after Hamilton Boys’ High School 1st XV, Hamilton Old Boys’ in the Waikato club rugby competition and numerous overseas coaching roles.
At national 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 20s campaign where they won two world titles.
“Having played for the (Waikato) province, it is a huge honour for me to have this opportunity to coach a team I have strong ties too,” said Strawbridge.
“The key to the 2019 season is to maintain and to continue to build on the success that the team achieved in 2018 under coach Jono Gibbes.”
Strawbridge was cap number 784 for Waikato, amassing a total of 131 games between 1983 and 1995 scoring a total of 646 points through 53 tries, 83 conversions, 78 penalties and five drop goals.
Andrew Strawbridge pictured in his prime playing for Waikato.