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26 Feb 2018 1:02
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  •   Home > News > Maori

    McMillan to coach Maori All Blacks

    Colin Cooper has been replaced by Bay of Plenty stalwart Clayton McMillan as coach of the Maori All Blacks.

    Clayton McMillan wants to maintain the mana, methods and successful record of the Maori All Blacks after being anointed their new coach.

    McMillan replaces long-serving coach Colin Cooper, who has stepped aside to focus on his duties as Chiefs Super Rugby coach next year.

    Bay of Plenty coach McMillan's appointment follows an impressive campaign with the New Zealand Provincial Barbarians, who were the first opponents for the touring British & Irish Lions in June.

    A Barbarians team featuring mostly NPC or amateur level players pushed the scratchy Lions before losing 13-7 in Whangarei.

    McMillan, a coach of 15 years, has held several age group and club roles in both Bay of Plenty and Wellington before taking the reins in his home province in 2015.

    His next post presents a challenge to relish, he said.

    "The Maori All Blacks team has a very strong identity with an exciting style of rugby, and special cultural base," McMillan said.

    "I want to ensure that it continues to provide a pathway for players wanting higher honours.

    "This is a very proud moment for myself and my family. My vision for this team is to continue to build on the legacy that has been carved out for this team."

    The Maori All Blacks boast a fine record, although that took a hit against the Lions this year when they were well beaten, 32-10, in wet conditions in Rotorua.

    They can restore some pride when they play two matches in the northern hemisphere later this year.

    They face Canada in Vancouver on November 3 before a match in Europe, the details of which are still to be confirmed.


    © 2018 NZN, NZCity

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