John Cruden to replace Sonny Waqatairewa as COB senior A coach

Sonny Waqatairewa was a player-coach for COB in 2016 when the team lost just one regular season match.
Warwick Smith/ Fairfax NZ.

Sonny Waqatairewa was a player-coach for COB in 2016 when the team lost just one regular season match.

The most successful Manawatu club rugby coach in the past 30 years, John Cruden, will coach College Old Boys for the remainder of the Manawatu senior A club rugby season.

The club's board opted to remove coach Sonny Waqatairewa from the senior A team after a meeting this week.

Cruden, known as Snow, will take over the team immediately.

His first match at the helm will be COB's fixture against Freyberg on Good Friday.

COB started the season poorly with losses to Kia Toa and Varsity.

But they turned their form around with a big win over Feilding and then by upsetting table-toppers Old Boys-Marist last weekend. 

A member of the board confirmed the decision, but said it was not due to the team's winning record.

"We did what we thought was right for the players, the club and the team. It had nothing to do with winning or losing... it was about a complete coach's portfolio of responsiblities." 

Waqatairewa was a regular in senior club rugby for COB before he took over from Cruden as the senior A coach last year.

Under his coaching the team won the Jubilee Cup and Centennial Shield for leading the competition after the first and second round respectively.

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They went into the playoffs having dropped just one game all year, but were upset in semifinals by Kia Toa.

COB re-advertised the coaching job late last year, reappointing Waqatairewa with Cruden as his mentor.

Cruden has a strong track record in senior A coaching including coaching the club to Hankins Shield titles in 2007, 2014 and 2015.

 - Stuff

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