Blues head coach Sir John Kirwan has finalised his coaching roster for 2013, appointing Nick White as scrum coach and Wally Rifle as head strength and conditioning coach.
The duo join a highly experienced coaching team featuring Sir Graham Henry, Mick Byrne and Grant Doorey.
“It’s a really strong coaching team so I’m very happy,” Kirwan said.
“I think we’re going to deliver a very strong coaching programme, they’re world class especially with where the franchise is at the moment.”
A former Blues championship winning prop, White has been an integral part of the region’s coaching set-up for the last four years, most recently as assistant coach of the Blues Development team and forwards coach of the Auckland ITM Cup team.
Kirwan said he was thrilled to welcome White to the management group and was looking forward to him instilling his passion for the Blues in the new era of players coming through the ranks.†
“He’s one of the guys that has been in the system, knows what we’re talking about and understands what it means to play for the Blues so it was an easy decision,” Kirwan said.
“I wouldn’t employ him if I didn’t think he was world’s best standard so that’s a given, and on top of that we’ve got someone who loves the Blues jersey and knows what we want to stand for.”
Rifle brings with him more than a decade’s experience of strength and conditioning in the rugby environment and joins the Blues from the Chiefs, having won the Investec Super Rugby championship with them earlier this year.
“Wally is a guy who I love, he’s an on-field fitness trainer who’s worked incredibly hard to get to where he is. He’s a very passionate man and sets very high standards,” Kirwan said.
Also joining the management team is Jason Price who will work alongside Rifle as assistant trainer.
Price has a military background, having been a physical training instructor in the Air Force for 10 years.
After leaving the Air Force to study, Price joined the Blues as an intern and has been working with the Auckland Rugby Academy for the past four months.