Ex-Canterbury No 9 to coach Pirates

Allan Lindsay (right) has joined Pirates Rugby Club as their new coach. Photo: Greymouth Star
Allan Lindsay (right) has joined Pirates Rugby Club as their new coach. Photo: Greymouth Star

After a totally forgettable 2016 season, Pirates is already making plans for next season and has named a new premier coach.

Former Canterbury halfback and West Coast coach Allan Lindsay has been appointed to the job, and it is hoped it will signal a turning of the corner for the club which struggled this year.

At one stage of the season, Pirates raised doubts about fielding a side and thought it could be forced to default a game. It ended up playing the match but lost heavily.

Over the season, it won just one game and finished dead last on the table.

Club stalwart Dave Callon said Pirates had formed a small sub-committee which wanted to help the club get back on its feet especially with regards to the premier side and the premier colts side.

Lindsay had a very impressive coaching background with plenty of experience up to first-class level.

He had had already met leading players and had connections with other players right around the country.

Lindsay was a halfback for Canterbury for more than 20 games in the 1980s and 1990s and also spent a long time on the bench for Canterbury backing up All Blacks Bruce Deans and Graeme Bachop.

A long-time member of the Shirley Club, Lindsay played sevens for New Zealand at the Hong Kong tournament in 1983-84.

He played for Shirley in more than 200 games, also coached the senior side at the club and two other clubs in the Christchurch club competition.

After playing for West Coast, he also coached the West Coast Heartland team in 2013-14. Over the past two seasons he has coached the Shirley Boys' High School first XV to reach the final of the Crusaders first XV competition.

Lindsay, who works in health care supplies, had moved to Dunedin in the past few months and Callon said he has been talking to Lindsay about getting involved in coaching in Dunedin.

Callon said Pirates was a club which had plenty of support and strong junior numbers. It had the resources and a good coach such as Lindsay would help get players to the club and give it more energy.

The club was hard hit by injury last season and more than 15 players were out for some part of the season. The side was coached last season by Grant Sneddon, who came in at the last minute, after an initial appointment fell through.

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