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Chiefs achieve coaching group continuity

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Thursday, November 7, 2019    Getty Images

Returning to the franchise as an assistant coach will be former All Black David Hill, who has been an assistant coach with the New Zealand Under-20 side in recent years.

He will join forwards coach Neil Barnes, defence coach Tabai Matson, attack coach Roger Randle, scrum coach Nick White and resource coach Andrew Strawbridge.

Gatland said: "I'm pleased with the coaching group that has been assembled to lead the Gallagher Chiefs in 2020. There is an abundance of experience among these men and I trust this will provide us with a solid platform we can build on to deliver a successful campaign for the club.

"It's great to have David join the fold this season. He has an impressive coaching resumé to date; his technical knowledge of the game is second to none. We know he already has a great rapport with a number of our squad already and we trust in his role he will continue to make a positive impact," he said.

Hill said he was excited to be involved and was looking forward to working with the coaching group and team.

Chiefs chief executive Michael Collins was delighted with the group appointed.

"We are pleased to have a great group of coaches assisting Warren at the helm. We know the team want to continue to build on the work achieved during the 2019 campaign. Having a cohesive group of coaches for 2020 will be instrumental in achieving this," he said.

Barnes will have his fifth season with the side. He had international experience across two World Cup campaigns with Canada and returned to the Chiefs in 2018. He was also involved in another Cup campaign as an assistant coach with Fiji this year.

Double Fiji-All Blacks Test player Matson joined the Chiefs as an assistant coach in 2015, after filling an assistant coach role for Fiji in 2015 at the World Cup and in winning the Pacific Nations Cup. He played for Fiji at the 1999 World Cup and played five games for the All Blacks in 1995-96. After three seasons as an assistant coach with Canterbury from 2009 he was head coach in 2012. In 2013 he stepped up to the Crusaders coaching team while also being appointed an assistant coach to the Maori All Blacks, a role he held for three years.

Former Auckland coach, and a player for Northland, Auckland and the Super Rugby sides, the Crusaders, Highlanders and Blues, prop Nick White was appointed scrum coach for the Chiefs in 2018. In that time he has been instrumental in the development and performance of the Chiefs scrum.

With 10 years of coaching experience, since retiring from playing as an All Black, All Blacks Sevens and Chiefs and Crusaders player, Roger Randle will step up from his assistant backs coach role to attack coach for the side. He also worked as an assistant coach with the Maori All Blacks and Waikato.

Waikato stalwart Andrew Strawbridge, who coached the Mitre 10 Cup side this year, has a long association with the Chiefs and was part of the coaching staff when the Chiefs won the Super Rugby title in 2012-13.

As an assistant coach of New Zealand Under-20 he shared in their world championship wins in 2008-09. He was appointed a resource coach earlier in 2019 and will continue that role in 2020.