New Zealand rugby
Cooper named NZ Maori rugby coach
July 23, 2013
Colin Cooper has been named as the New Zealand Maori coach replacing Jamie Joseph, Auckland, New Zealand, July 23, 2013
Colin Cooper played for the Maori in 1982-83 before suffering a career-ending injury © Getty Images

Taranaki coach Colin Cooper has replaced Jamie Joseph as coach of the New Zealand Maori rugby team.

Former long-serving Hurricanes mentor Cooper restores his link with the Maori side, who he played for as a loose forward in 1982 and 1983 before suffering a career-ending neck injury.

NZ Maori will play two matches this year, against Canada in Toronto on November 3 and the United States in Philadelphia on November 9.

Highlanders coach Joseph announced he was vacating the position in May, citing a desire to focus on his struggling Super Rugby side.

Cooper will work with two assistant coaches - NPC-winning Canterbury coach Tabai Matson and new Waikato co-coach Carl Hoeft. Both also have assistant duties in Super Rugby for the Crusaders and Chiefs respectively.

The 54-year-old coached Taranaki in two stints from 1999 to 2002, and since 2010. He was the Hurricanes' head coach from 2003 to 2010, guiding them to the semi-finals in five out of eight seasons. He also coached the New Zealand Colts in 2001 and was co-coach of the Junior All Blacks from 2005 to 2009.


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