Coach appointment process riles Stags veteran

DON WRIGHT
Last updated 04:37 18/01/2014
Brad Mooar
FAIRFAX NZ
SOUTHERN MAN: New Stags coach Brad Mooar.

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Southland rugby legend Paul Henderson believes new Stags coach Brad Mooar's job has been made doubly difficult by inappropriate processes that had not worked in the past.

"Taking all personalities out of the question, I think that different people have again made the same mistakes of the past," the one-test All Black captain said.

The veteran of 90 appearances for Southland over 14 years believed Mooar should have been phased in over an introductory year before assuming full control from his deposed twin brother David Henderson.

A completely fresh and immediate start with a new coach could be at the expense of intellectual property and an established culture, he said.

"By doing that, you can sever and lose all the good things that had been carefully built up over time."

The Canterbury union had set the benchmark for progression planning, he said.

Henderson believed Rugby Southland should have got an outside coach as second in charge for a year before taking over the reins.

Counties Manukau phased in Tana Umaga as assistant under Milton Haig for a year before the distinguished All Black captain took full control.

Rugby Southland chief executive Brian Hopley said the union had looked at a range of options, including co-coaches, and assistant coaches, before opting to appoint Mooar as head coach.

Henderson said his twin brother had put in eight years as a Southland Stags coach with Simon Culhane, gaining fantastic results, including two successful Ranfurly Shield challenges and dramatic tenures.

"I think David deserved more than a phone call to say he was gone, and many men of high rugby intellect agree fully with me. David handled the disappointment commendably because his heart is with Southlanders and Southland rugby," he said.

"I told Southland CEO Brian Hopley beforehand that he was doing the right thing by putting the job on the outside market to see what was out there and also that if there was going to be an outside man appointed, he should be put in for a year as assistant to properly grasp an appreciation of all the cultures."

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- The Southland Times

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