Otago trainer off to the US

Otago's head trainer has headed to the United States to mix playing — for a side under Otago’s assistant coach — and upskilling off the field.

The New England Free Jacks announced this week they had signed Ewan Brumwell.

Brumwell, who plays his club rugby for Harbour, was born in the United States so qualifies as a local player for the Free Jacks. The Free Jacks are coached by Otago assistant coach Ryan Martin.

Otago Rugby Football Union general manager Richard Kinley said it was a personal development opportunity for Brumwell to play a few games but mainly learn skills off the field.

It was also a chance for the union to improve and develop people to fill Brumwell’s role while he was away.

Hamish McMillan had been promoted to working with the Otago wider training squad as a trainer and an intern had been brought in to work with the union’s academy players.

Kinley said a similar opportunity had come up for former trainer Karl Bloxham a couple of years ago and it was an enormous benefit for the Otago union.

The move had been discussed with Otago coach Tom Donnelly and he was supportive.

Brumwell would be back in Dunedin in July just before Otago’s campaign starts for the national provincial championship.

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