Super Rugby
Sir John Kirwan resigns as Blues coach
ESPN Staff
June 19, 2015
Tana Umaga (L) looks set to be the next Blues coach © Getty Images
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Sir John Kirwan has resigned as coach of the Blues' Super Rugby team after overseeing their worst-ever season.

Blues chief executive Michael Redman and Kirwan fronted a mid-morning press conference on Friday at the franchise's Auckland headquarters to make the announcement. Redman said the Blues understood Kirwan's decision and were sorry to see him go. He said the board would consider its options in the light of Kirwan's announcement, but as yet had made no decision about his replacement.

Speculation is rife that former All Blacks skipper Tana Umaga is close to signing a three-year deal with the Blues, who managed only three wins from 15 games this season in their third year under former All Blacks winger Kirwan. Kirwan told media that he had been considering his future at the Blues for some time.

"I have been contemplating for a little while, but I just wanted to make sure I worked as hard as I could and got right to the very end of the season," he said. "The best thing for me, my family and the club is that it's time to let someone else take over the reins."

Kirwan replaced Pat Lam at the Blues in 2013, with the side finishing 10th overall, a placing replicated in 2014 before they finished second-last this season.

As well being hit with a horrendous injury toll this season, the Blues have also lost some key players to overseas clubs next year. Full-back Charles Piutau has signed with Ulster for two years, Francis Saili is off to Munster and Frank Halai to Wasps while veteran All Blacks hooker Keven Mealamu has called time on his Super Rugby career after 175 games.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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