Colin Cooper in frame for Maori coaching job

LIAM NAPIER
Last updated 15:31 24/05/2013
Colin Cooper
Getty Images
HAT IN THE RING: Colin Cooper would like to coach the New Zealand Maori.

Relevant offers

All Blacks

Living to see his sons turn 21 is All Blacks legend Jonah Lomu's greatest goal Israel Dagg to wait for life-changing phone call in All Blacks selection heartache All Blacks prop Charlie Faumuina does his bit, now it's up to the selectors Gifford: Most dramatic All Blacks selection in history of World Cup Robson: Lima Sopoaga, Tawera Kerr-Barlow a must, no room for Dagg, Jane Knowler: Aaron Smith could do Israel Dagg a Rugby World Cup favour Top 10 Rugby World Cup series: Tries Jonah Lomu tips All Blacks rookie Nehe Milner-Skudder to be World Cup star Former All Black Graeme Bachop says two World Cup halfbacks is enough Punter bets $130,000 on All Blacks to lose Rugby World Cup

Taranaki and former Hurricanes coach Colin Cooper has put his hand up for the vacant New Zealand Maori head coach role.

Under pressure Highlanders coach Jamie Joseph stepped down last night after leading the Maori team for the past three years.

Given his coaching credentials, experience and Maori background, 54-year-old Cooper was the obvious candidate to replace Joseph. He was assistant coach at the Crusaders in 2002 before taking the top job at the Hurricanes from 2003 to 2010 and will now be the front-runner to secure the position.  

"I will be interested, as long as it doesn't clash with Taranaki," Cooper told Fairfax Media today. "That's my main focus. I just need to see how it pans out."

That should not be an issue. The NPC season finished in mid-October this year and the Maori are scheduled for a two-match tour of Canada and the United States in November.

As a player, Cooper went on a seven-week tour of Wales and Spain with the Maori and has always aspired to coach the team. Until now other commitments have prevented him from doing so.

"It's something I've always wanted to do. It's my culture. It's who I am, too. It would be good to experience the culture with the Maori team," Cooper said. "I'm a high performance coach so if that's the track they want to run down with this job then it may fit.

"I played for them but I haven't coached them because I was with the Junior All Blacks and the Hurricanes. It didn't fit in. If it doesn't work out with Taranaki then it won't happen but if it can I'd be interested."

Depending on the timing of Maori camps, the Taranaki Rugby Union have indicted they would endorse Cooper's wish.

"They advertise it and then we'll go from there. I'm not sure when that will happen," Cooper said.

"The Taranaki union have been very supportive of me. They'll be supportive of it I'm sure," he said. "There has to be a process. We'll have a look at how they want to operate, and how I like to operate things."

Otago coach Tony Brown could make a good fit as Maori backs advisor.

Ad Feedback

- Fairfax Media

Special offers
Opinion poll

Who was the best-performed All Blacks forward on the northern tour?

Dane Coles

Nathan Harris

Keven Mealamu

Wyatt Crockett

Charlie Faumuina

Ben Franks

Owen Franks

Joe Moody

Brodie Retallick

Luke Romano

Jeremy Thrush

Patrick Tuipulotu

Sam Whitelock

Sam Cane

Jerome Kaino

Richie McCaw

Liam Messam

Kieran Read

Vitor Vito

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content