Fusi Feaunati takes over as Manawatu Cyclones coach

Fusi Feaunati is now the head coach of the Manawatu Cyclones.
Faith Sutherland

Fusi Feaunati is now the head coach of the Manawatu Cyclones.

Fusi Feaunati is set to take on his third representative coaching role in as many years.

Feaunati has been named to coach the Manawatu Cyclones this year as the women's team chases a top-four finish in the Farah Palmer Cup.

Last year Feaunati coached the Manawatu Development XV, while the year before he led the Manawatu Under 19s.

Ebony Low has been named as his assistant.

Low, who is the women's rugby development manager at the Manawatu Rugby Union, played the last of her 33 games for the Manawatu Cyclones in 2014.

The former Kiwi Fern also coached the Central Vipers league team in 2015, before returning to rugby.

The duo replace Michael Lalogafau, who spent the last two years in charge of the team.

During his tenure the team played 12 matches winning five.

They missed the playoffs both years, but last season's team made a solid improvement and were one point away from the top four.

Ad Feedback

The union advertises its positions each season and Lalogafau confirmed that he had put his hand up for the job again

"I had to withdraw due to health reasons," he said. "But I was really keen to do it again."

Lalogafau had hoped to get three years in the role to build the team.

But he was using this year as a chance to continue his development.

"My goal this year is just to work on some of the aspects of my coaching that did not really fit with the union and see where they need me to be at a level that I can coach representative again because I will definitely be keen to come back again next year and put my name forward for any rep teams."

Lalogafau is in his second year as the assistant coach of the Freyberg senior A team.

Meanwhile, former Te Kawau and Wanganui hooker Shane Ratima has been named Manawatu Under 19 head coach.

He takes over from Aaron Good, who is now the Turbos' assistant coach.

Ratima will be assisted by Blair van Stipriaan.

van Stipriaan is the head coach of the Palmerston North Boys' High School 1st XV and was the head coach of the Manawatu Under 16s last year.

Potene Paewai is taking over from van Stipriaan as the coach of the Manawatu Under 16s.

He is a former coach of Feilding Old Boys-Oroua and Freyberg.

Dave Wilson will return as his assistant in his third year in the role.

 - Stuff

Ad Feedback
special offers
Ad Feedback