Potential coaches spoilt for choice

Ben Herring.
Ben Herring.
The cupboard appears to be far from bare for the Otago coaching position, although top candidates may be spoilt for choice of employer.

The Otago Rugby Football Union advertised the Otago coaching job on Saturday after Cory Brown, who held the job for the past three years, switched to the Highlanders.

On Monday, Southland coach Hoani Macdonald resigned from his role after an unsuccessful two year stint in the job.

With jobs also going begging at Auckland and Taranaki and also uncertainty around the job security of Waikato coach Sean Botherway, Otago may be in a fight to get the coach it wants.

One former coach who may come into the reckoning is former Crusaders and Canterbury assistant Dave Hewett.

Hewett helped Todd Blackadder at the Crusaders for a few years but missed out on the top job to Scott Robertson and has been biding his time ever since.

He is keen to get back into coaching and may see the Otago job as a good fit.

Former Otago and Highlanders assistant coach Ben Herring left last year to coach in Japan and was the defence coach for the Sunwolves and the Japanese national side.

But he has returned to Dunedin and could be another possibility to put his hand up for the Otago job.

Herring is a highly rated coach and has made swift progress, having plied his trade in England, Japan, Canada and New Zealand in a relatively short time.

But he played a lot of rugby for Southland and was well regarded in Southland. It was believed he was in line to get the Southland job a couple of years ago but opted to stay in Dunedin.

Another option could be former Highlanders high performance coach Jon Preston, who has moved on from the southern franchise after five years.

He is involved with the International Rugby Academy in Palmerston North but has ambitions to seek a head coaching position.

Otago wants to combine the head coaching and director of coaching positions, which will involve mentoring other coaches and also working in the community.

Applications close on November 24.


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