Rugby: Coaching kids now focus for Timu

Commonwealth Games 10,000m gold medallist Dick Tayler (left) and former All Black John Timu enjoy...
Commonwealth Games 10,000m gold medallist Dick Tayler (left) and former All Black John Timu enjoy the Taieri Rugby Football Club's 125th anniversary celebrations. Photo by Jane Dawber.
Former All Black John Timu continued his apprenticeship when he coached the Upper Clutha under-11 team at the annual Taieri schoolboy sevens tournament at Peter Johnstone Park yesterday.

Timu (38) was in Dunedin for the Taieri Rugby Football Club's 125th anniversary celebrations over the weekend.

He played 50 matches, including 26 tests, for the All Backs from 1989 to 1994 and is one of only four All Blacks from the Taieri club.

The others are Arran Pene (1993-94), Peter Johnstone (1949-51) and James Allan (1884).

Timu played 101 games for Otago from 1988 to 1994 and was a key member of the team that won the NPC under coach Laurie Mains in 1991.

Timu has his own building business at Wanaka and he and his wife, Kas, have four children aged from 4 to 10.

"I have coached my eldest son's team in kids rugby for the last five years," Timu said.

"I'm full on for my kids at the moment."

He brought his under-11 team to Dunedin for the sevens tournament yesterday.

"The kids are looking forward to show their wares against the townies," Timu said.

"It's a good chance for our kids to test themselves."

Time was a member of the Otago University club when he first became an All Black in 1989, but he and fellow All Black Pene switched to Taieri in 1993.

"The club opened up their arms to us," Timu said.

"There is a really good country feeling about the club.

"It was really refreshing for two guys who had played for Varsity to play with the guys out here."

Pene hoped to attend the anniversary but had coaching commitments in Wellington.

"Arran was gutted be couldn't get down," Timu said.

"It was good to catch up with the old identities in the club and meet the guys again."

Timu takes his family skiing at Cardrona during the winter and sailing on Lake Wanaka in summer.

He used to enjoy skiing during his rugby days as well but did not tell Mains.

"It was hush-hush," he said.

"I used to sneak away to get a bit if skiing time," he said.


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