sport

Leon MacDonald appointed All Blacks XV coach for European tour

Former All Blacks fullback Leon MacDonald will coach the All Blacks XV for two matches in Europe.

Hannah Peters / Getty Images

Former All Blacks fullback Leon MacDonald will coach the All Blacks XV for two matches in Europe.

Blues coach Leon MacDonald has been confirmed as head coach of the All Blacks XV for a two-match end of season tour of Europe.

The former All Blacks fullback will be assisted by Chiefs and Māori All Blacks head coach Clayton McMillan and Crusaders assistant Scott Hansen at the helm of the back-up team to Ian Foster’s All Blacks.

The New Zealand XV will play Ireland A in Dublin on November 4 and the Barbarians at London’s Tottenham Stadium on November 13.

MacDonald, who played 56 tests for the All Blacks, said the tour would provide a huge challenge and a valuable experience for the players selected.

READ MORE:
* All Blacks northern tour: What to expect in Ian Foster’s squad as Leon MacDonald firms as ‘feeder’ side coach
* French referee Mathieu Raynal has no regrets on Bledisloe call that broke Aussies’ hearts
* New head coaches and a longer season: How Super Rugby Aupiki will look in 2023
* Mark Reason: Why Dalton Papali’i must replace All Blacks captain Sam Cane at No 7

“It’s an honor to coach any team with the silver fern on the jersey and I’m looking forward to coaching a strong squad for what will be two tough matches, ” he said.

“This team is representing New Zealand on the world stage and we will be taking that responsibility very seriously, particularly as the first group to wear the All Blacks XV jersey.”

NZR Head of High Performance Mike Anthony said the quality of the two matches in Europe will present an ideal challenge and opportunity to experience different playing styles and get exposure to overseas touring.

“To play against international opposition, in front of large, passionate crowds is invaluable for our next tier of talent a year out from RWC 2023.”

Māori All Blacks coach Clayton McMillan (R), pictured with Ireland head coach Andy Farrell, will be a New Zealand XV assistant coach.

Hannah Peters / Getty Images

Māori All Blacks coach Clayton McMillan (R), pictured with Ireland head coach Andy Farrell, will be a New Zealand XV assistant coach.

NZR has formed an exclusive partnership with sports promotion company Rugby Live (RL) to arrange the All Blacks XV matches. NZR has worked with RL on previous occasions including two All Blacks Tests in Chicago, one All Blacks Test in Washington DC and the UK Barbarians match in 2017.

“The All Blacks XV will be a world-class, competitive team that we believe will be a drawcard for overseas rugby fans wanting to watch players with the skills, passion and pride that are the hallmark of rugby teams representing New Zealand. We are excited about taking the All Blacks XV to the world, ”Rugby Live chief executive Ben Dunn said.

The All Blacks XV was launched as NZR’s next senior national representative team after the All Blacks, as a critical high-performance pathway to the All Blacks.

The All Blacks XV follows in the footsteps of similar teams which have assembled throughout New Zealand rugby’s history, including the Junior All Blacks, New Zealand A and Emerging Players.

Related Articles

Check Also
Close
Back to top button