Tony Brown Appointed Head Coach Of The Highlanders
The Highlanders have confirmed that Attack Coach Tony Brown has been appointed to the Head Coach role. Brown has signed a two year contract and it will be his second time in charge of the South Island franchise. He held the assistant coach role form 2014-16, under Jamie Joseph, before stepping up to the top job for the 2017 season. The former New Zealand Fly Half lead them to the play-offs that year, before joining up with the Japan national side. Brown assisted Jamie Joseph once again and helped Japan to reach the 2019 World Cup Quarter Finals. He returned to the Highlanders this season, as Attack Coach. The popular figure will now get another shot at the top job, with an exciting and young Highlanders outfit.
The Highlanders were expected to finish bottom of Super Rugby Aotearoa this year. However, they were incredibly competitive and played in some of the most exciting games in the competition. Ash Dixon lead his team superbly, with Aaron Smith finding some serious form. They were missing Josh Ioane for part of the tournament and can build on his return. They have some serious talent throughout their team and have made it so they are very hard to beat, with a never say die attitude. Loose Forward Dillon Hunt, was a loss, as he moved to the Blues, but they have recruited wisely. Billy Harmon looks set for a new lease of life at the Highlanders and has been joined in the Back Row by Japan International Kazuki Himeno. With Marino Mikaele Tu’u, Shannon Frizell and Taereki Ben-Nicholas already at the club, they have a strong Back Row foundation. There is also talk of Liam Squire re-joining the club, now that he has returned from Japan. It would be another smart move from Brown, as this squad looks to get stronger and stronger.
What They Said:
“as a coach you are always learning and I would like to think I am a better coach now that I was in 2017, my motivations for taking the role are to do the best I can for a team and community that I love.”
“As a team if we play our style of rugby, with the right attitude then we can certainly be successful. Naturally it will take a lot of hard work to achieve that but I’m sure the players, coaches and management will accept the challenge”.
New Zealand Rugby General Manager Professional Rugby & Performance Chris Lendrum:
“We are very lucky to have such high quality coaches in our five Super Rugby Clubs and to have someone with Tony’s experience and knowledge at the Highlanders only strengthens our competition.
“As a former Highlanders player and Head Coach I’m sure he will continue to bring his passion for the club and the jersey over the next two seasons.”