Liam Barry new North Harbour coach

MARC HINTON
Last updated 14:47 06/12/2010

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One-test All Black Liam Barry has been named as North Harbour rugby coach for the next three years.

He succeeds former All Blacks Craig Dowd and Jeff Wilson who were sacked after two under-achieving seasons in the job.

The 39-year-old former All Blacks openside flanker has spent the last six years with the Blues franchise, as skills coach from 2006-2009 and assistant coach in 2009-2010. He will continue in that role for the upcoming Super Rugby season until the Blues campaign ends.

Barry, a former Harbour stalwart, beat out a field of applicants including former team-mate Blair Larsen.

North Harbour CEO Brett Hollister said Barry had come through a tough interview process with flying colours.

"Liam’s strong leadership skills, coaching experience and long-time affiliation with the region stood out for the interview panel amongst a high-quality field of applicants," said Hollister.

Born in Takapuna, Barry attended Rosmini College before joining the East Coast Bays Club.

He debuted for North Harbour in 1991 at the age of 20, and racked up 83 games over a decade-long provincial career.

He had two spells in Japan, playing for NEC from 1997-2001 and Kubota from 2002-2004.

Barry first made the All Blacks in 1993 on the tour to the UK, becoming part of the first family to provide three generations of All Blacks, following his father Kevin and grandfather Ned.

He played his one and only test two years later when he started in the 37-12 victory over France in Paris. He played nine games in total on his two tours with the All Blacks.

Blues CEO Andy Dalton said Barry took up his new role with the franchise's blessing.

"Liam is a well-respected coach and while we will be reluctant to farewell him at the end of the Blues' season, it is encouraging to know he'll still be coaching players within the franchise - in the same province he plied his successful rugby trade."

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