Makos coaching duo reappointed

Kieran Keane and Leon MacDonald have been reappointed as the Tasman Makos rugby coaches for the 2013 season.

Last season Keane and his assistant MacDonald were in charge during a roller-coaster season in which they beat eventual Premiership winners Canterbury, narrowly lost a Ranfurly Shield epic to Taranaki and shot up from last to fourth place in the Championship.

TRU CEO Andrew Flexman is delighted to have the two former Canterbury and All Black backs back after a successful 2012 campaign which saw the Makos make the ITM Cup Championship semifinals.

"I'm pleased to be making this announcement. In Kieran and Leon we have two very astute rugby minds who have a real passion for Tasman rugby.

"I have no doubt that, with good continuity in our playing and coaching group, we can achieve bigger and better things in 2013."

Keane has been involved with the Tasman Makos since 2009, first as co-coach with Bevan Cadwallader and as head coach from 2010 with MacDonald as his assistant coach.

The duo are looking forward to continuing their partnership in 2013.

Keane's head coaching role in 2013 has been expanded after his departure from the Highlanders franchise.

While the Makos' ITM Cup campaign is a key focus, Keane will also be working in the union's high-performance programme to nurture and develop emerging players and coaches.

"Tasman rugby is committed to ensuring we have meaningful pathways for our young rugby talent to emerge and strive for higher honours," Flexman said.

"In both Kieran and Leon we have two coaches with a wealth of knowledge to add great value to our development programmes.

"Our success in this area will be a significant marker of how we rate ourselves in 2013".

The coaches resume duties in February and will be keen observers of the talent to emerge in the Wadsco Marlborough, The Car Company Nelson Bays and Bayleys Tasman Trophy club competitions.

The Marlborough Express