New Otago coach will need to carry out other roles

Richard Kinley
Richard Kinley
The Otago Rugby Football Union begins its search for a coach today but it may not be a straightforward path.

With Cory Brown, who has coached the team for the past three years, moving on to the Highlanders, the union will advertise for someone to coach  its Mitre 10 Cup side and be director of coaching.

Brown was keen to continue as the coach of the Otago team and combine that role with his new position with the Highlanders.But he admitted he would not have the time to do the director of coaching job nor be involved in the community rugby part of the role.

The Otago union though wants someone who can do the entire job, including being involved in coaching coaches at the community level.

Otago Rugby Football Union general manager Richard Kinley said the board had thought long and hard about what it wanted in a new coach.

In a nutshell, it wanted to find another coach who would do what Brown has done with Otago in the past three years — coach the Otago side and carry out the other roles.

"That is our preference at the moment and what we have settled on. So we are going out to the market to see what is out there," he said.

Kinley said after the applications came in the role might change but that depended on who applied. Cory Brown’s older brother, Tony, coached Otago while being an assistant coach of the Highlanders in 2014. Otago failed to make the playoffs that year — the only year in the past six seasons it has not made the Championship playoffs and it was felt by many Brown had taken on too much.

It is not an exact comparison as the older Brown did more travelling with the Highlanders than Cory Brown will do next year.

The Highlanders had no objection to Brown coaching Otago.

So the door may not be completely shut for Brown and the Otago job but it depends on the quality of the applications.Who applies for the job is a bit of a mystery with plenty of job offers floating around for provincial coaches.

Auckland is looking for a new coach as is Taranaki while there are question marks over the future of coaches in Waikato and Southland.

Otago assistant coach Tom Donnelly has only just started his coaching career and has just the one season of assisting Otago in his resume.

He impressed with what he could get out of the Otago forward pack this season but his coaching career is still very young and he needs more time before moving into the head coaching role.

The same goes for  Lee Allan, who switched from playing to being the Otago defence coach this year.

Brown replaces Jon Preston at the Highlanders and the former All Black and Wellington halfback could be a chance to swap positions with Brown.

Preston was believed to be wanting to move into a head coaching role and the Otago position would suit him.

Other candidates may lack the experience or the qualities needed. Otago Boys High School First XV coach Ryan Martin could also be a candidate.

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