New Talent Identification and Player Development Manager Shane King took time out from his quest to find the next Rieko Ioane to tell us a bit about his role at the club…
What is your role at the Blues?
I’m responsible for identifying potential professional rugby players in the region from the 1st XV level, down to our 14s/16s, then putting together development camps that hopefully help pathway the kids through to high performance rugby post school.
You’ve been here just over a month now – how are you finding it so far?
I’ve been involved with talent identification in the region from a New Zealand Schools perspective for the last five years, so I’m already quite connected to many of schools in our area. I am certainly aware of the raw talent we have.
Hopefully, we can engage with more of these boys and convince them to stay in the region and help us build the Blues legacy. It’s a massive gig but I’m enjoying the challenge.
Tell us a bit more about what you’ve done previously…
I’ve had a long and varied career, playing and coaching in both North Harbour and Auckland. For the past seven years, I was working as firstly an RDC then as Coach Development Manager with Auckland Rugby. Prior to this I was a secondary school teacher, teaching Physical Education and Geography.
What’s your favourite part of your job?
The relationships you build, because rugby is about relationships. It’s a great to get to know the young fellas not just as rugby players but as people, and then watch them develop and hopefully go on to great things.
Last week, Shane was responsible for overseeing two U17 and U18 development camps. Read more here.