Dowd, Mayerhofler join Harbour coaching ranks
December 18, 2007

Former All Blacks Craig Dowd and Mark Mayerhofler have been added to North Harbour's coaching structure after completing the European segments of their rugby careers.

Dowd, a 60-test international prop, has returned to Auckland after a stint as forwards coach at English powerhouse Wasps.

He has been appointed as Harbour's rugby development manager while Mayerhofler, who played six tests in 1998, has been employed as their video analyst.

Mayerhofler, who played for North Harbour before moving south to Canterbury and the Crusaders, ended his UK playing career at Newcastle at the end of last season.

The well-travelled midfield back also played in France before returning to New Zealand to play for his home province and the Blues.

He then headed to the north of England to play alongside the likes of Jonny Wilkinson and Australian fullback Matt Burke.

Dowd said: ``I have had a fantastic seven years with Wasps. I will be sad to leave a club that is very, very close to my heart, but there are other priorities in my life that I have to consider, namely my kids.

``Ideally, I would have made the move at the end of the season but whilst North Harbour was willing to keep the job open for me for a couple of months, they would not have waited six months.

``I would therefore like to thank the London Wasps board and coaching team for their understanding in granting me an early release.''

As a player Dowd won a hat-trick of Premiership titles and the 2004 Heineken Cup before moving into a coaching role, where he has built one of the most dynamic packs in the country.

Dowd has overseen the development of England youngsters Tom Rees and James Haskell while helping Wasps win the 2006 Powergen Cup and become European
champions for the second time last season.

Wasps head coach Shaun Edwards said: ``Craig was one of the greatest players of all time and when he moved on to coaching he applied himself with the same
commitment and effort that epitomised his playing career.

``He has especially been a help and inspiration to many of the younger players at Wasps.''

Harbour chief executive Brett Hollister confirmed the new appointments to the coaching structure headed by Wayne Pivac.

"The primary purpose of these two roles is to improve our player and coach development pathways," he said.

Dowd, New Zealand's most capped prop and a former Auckland stalwart, added: " I'm very excited about assisting many young players to realise their potential."

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