Brown at ease in Highlanders role

Highlanders assistant coach Tony Brown keeps a close eye on team  training at Forsyth Barr...
Highlanders assistant coach Tony Brown keeps a close eye on team training at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin this week. PHOTO: CHRISTINE O'CONNOR
Life does not get any better for Tony Brown.

Coaching the Highlanders — a team he loves.

And coaching Japan — a team on the rise on the international stage.

Brown is back at work in Dunedin, into the first year of a three-year deal at the Highlanders as the assistant coach.

At one stage he seemed destined to be an assistant coach for the All Blacks, aligned with the three top candidates, but has now gone back with his coaching mate Jamie Joseph to coach Japan.

It is a role that no-one saw coming a few weeks ago, as everyone wanted Brown (44).

But he is completely comfortable about the decision.

"During the World Cup I had aligned myself with Scott Robertson and Ian Foster and still with Jamie if he decided to have a crack at the [All Blacks] job. So in my mind I thought whoever got the job I would be involved somewhere as an assistant coach.

"But just after the World Cup, when I got back home and had a few days to think about it, it just did not feel right to be floating between different coaching teams," he said.

"Ultimately, Jamie and I have had a pretty good coaching relationships for eight years, or whatever it is. We understand each other, complement each other. For me that is the enjoyable thing about coaching, being able to coach the way I want to coach and Jamie allows me to do that. We get on well together. If I want to continue in the job it has to be enjoyable.

"Ultimately with me I’m really comfortable with the decision."

The former All Black said he would be busy with the two jobs but that was how he liked it.

stephen.hepburn@odt.co.nz


 

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