Video: Brown to coach at Highlanders

Tony Brown has signed on with the Highlanders, and will be the team's attack coach next year.


Brown (38) was confirmed as the third assistant coach for the Highlanders today by the franchise.

He will continue his Otago coaching duties as well.

He has been coaching Otago for the past two seasons, and has also been involved with the Panasonic club in Japan.

Brown is a foundation player with the Highlanders and has played 90 games for the franchise, last turning out for the team in 2011.

  • More details in tomorrow's ODT 


Tony Brown

Interesting to read comments on Tony above 

I have always admired Tony brown as a player and I am sure that he will have excellent coaching skills. He is quietly spoken and will gain the respect from all of those around him, his record as a player is unsurpassed by a lot of past players and is the type of person we need to lead Otago. I believe we will finish in the top 6 in the super 15 for 2014 and top 4 super 15 in 2015. The players need to step up and take responsibility for their actions and play the full 80 minutes not just 60 as we have seen in the past where Otago has lost games in the last 20 minutes 

more hero worship

Doesn't it make you laugh. More rugby hero worship from the same people desperate to see the Highlanders perform.Get a life, boys.

Brown being groomed?

Highlander is correct - Tony Brown has no record of success as a coach. The idea that he is being groomed to take over from the unsuccessful Jamie Joseph is ridiculous. If Jamie Joseph fails again next year, I do hope the franchise looks for a coach with a proven track record of man management and success. Some of the best coaches around were not ex-All Blacks. Many NRL coaches such as Wayne Bennett didn't play at the highest level. There are numerous examples of great players who didn't have the skills to coach representative teams. Great players like Wally Lewis and  Brad Fittler are prime examples of ex-greats unable to transfer their playing skills into the coach's box.

one less coach, not one more

stevepf, your comments are reasonable but I think it's a flawed logic to bring in another assistant coach with limited influence and expect him to change the culture. The obvious solution is to have one less coach, namely Joseph and you immediately cure the culture. However, your point about a coach's contract not tied to performance again highlights the failings of the administrative management team. What professional sports franchise in the world would allow such a contract? My thoughts are Tony Brown has actually been introduced as a lead in to him taking over in 2015. Again I think that is premature as he needs to have had success at the highest levels. So far he has only managed to take Otago to a semi and final in the NZ B grade competition. I just hope they haven't made him any promises or contracts as they did with Jamie Joseph.

Otago needs more coaches

That's just it Highlander1, the team does need more coaches. The players are not happy with Joseph and his demands on them are too high. He's lucky he stipulated that he was able to continue as coach for three years regardless of performance. Why do you think they performed badly and none of the AB's from last year are coming back? Tony Brown is exactly what the team needs to bring back a sense of culture and team unit. He's the good cop to Jamie Joseph's bad co.

Short memories

Some people out there have incredibly short memories. At the beginning of last year Otago wasn't even sure it would have a team in the ITM cup. It was left with two or three experienced players and a bunch of young guys who had a couple of seasons of club rugby under their belts - some not even that. They learned fast and they learned well.

This year we had more depth and youth in a lot of positions. We beat three premiership teams out of four and were a bit unlucky against Canterbury. Sure, Hawke's Bay was a bogey team for us. At the moment they have been the only team to beat Wellington this season and they gave them a bit of a towelling.

Brownie and Yards have done wonders and have developed a great base for Otago rugby to re launch from. As for highlander1 talking about the Highlanders needing players, and not coaches - were you here for the Super 15 this year? Player-wise we had the best team in the competition on paper, we just had a coach who didn't know how to get the best out of them. It is the coaches job to get the best out of the players.

Brownie will develop the Highlanders into a great unit based on a core of Otago and Southland players. He has the advantage over Preston and Pierce that after last season Joseph no longer has free rein to over rule and ignore his assistants. I'm now looking forward to a super 15 that up until today I had absolutely no interest in.

Joke of an announcement

what a joke of an announcement. With the greatest of respect to Browny, the Highlanders don't need more coaches, they need players! This type of benign announcement must surely have come from the same management who brought us the green jersey. Still no clean-out in the management department, obviously. The big question fans want answered is whether Aaron Smith is staying at the Highlanders for next year, not who is the no.3 assistant coach?

Dynamic duo

The Otago Rugby network looks after its own once again. A Super 15 coach who manages to finish near bottom yet again, this despite having signed up a star-studded side last season. An ITM Cup coach who has failed to take Otago back to the first division where it should be. It is amazing to most that failure in Otago rugby is rewarded with promotion or continued tenure. It is hard to think of any teams other than those in Otago which would tolerate these endless coaching failures. Auckland don't tolerate it, and in Premier League football, AFL, NFL and NRL, you keep failing and you are out. That is the reality of professional sports. Sadly, long suffering Otago Highlanders can fans look forward to yet another season of promise followed by the inevitable failure.

Claim to fame

I would have thought Tony Brown's claim to fame would be playing 18 tests for the All Blacks, over 100 Super Rugby games and being the first coach to bring the shield back to Otago in over 50 years?

Ease up on Browny

T Brown (born & bred in Otago) will bring that pride back so the players will know what regions they are representing.  No green jersey compromise.  More so than S McLeod or J Preston who probably have less coaching experience than Brown.  I think the management of Roger Clark should be more accountable.  Whopper referred to that side of things as a circus.

Great fit

Take a coach whose claim to fame is getting his team to a semifinal in the B Grade and pair him up with a coach who has been responsible for guiding one of the worst performing Super Rugby sides. Should be a great result.