Clark Laidlaw joins Hurricanes coaching team

TOBY ROBSON
Last updated 05:00 22/07/2014
Clark Laidlaw
Robert Charles/Fairfax NZ
STAYING ON: Clark Laidlaw will join the Hurricanes coaching staff in a fulltime role in 2015.

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Clark Laidlaw helped shore up the Hurricanes' defence this season and he'll get a chance to further improve the side under new coach Chris Boyd.

Laidlaw will join Boyd and his assistant John Plumtree in the third official appointment to the 2015 coaching staff.

The former Scottish Commonwealth Games sevens representative came to the Hurricanes via Taranaki in 2013 as an in-season skills coach before taking up the task of fixing the leaky defensive line this season.

Laidlaw had immediate success with the Hurricanes keeping their try line intact on two occasions, something they hadn't managed over the opening three years of head coach Mark Hammett's tenure, and also conceding fewer points per match than in the previous season.

He is yet to meet Plumtree, but had been in close contact with Boyd around the Hurricanes' Newtown training base before accepting a fulltime position.

How the trio split their roles and whether a fourth member is added to the coaching team remains to be seen.

"There is definitely room for change. Once Plum gets here and Boydy and myself sit down then we'll look at roles and responsibilities," Laidlaw said.

"I know Boydy and Plum both have a lot of experience in different areas of the game. We'll all sit down and see what the best fit is for the group. There's no hard and fast roles at this stage."

He was relaxed whether he carried on in a defensive role, or switched focus.

"My role last year [in 2013] was purely technical in just working with the players on their skill set. Hammer would take care of the tactical game plan and I was working with the players on catch, pass, tackle, contact whatever that may be. It was about working on individual skill improvement plans rather than being involved from a game-plan perspective.

"This year I switched to defence where I was more heavily involved in the tactical side as well as picking up defensive skills."

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