Crowley to replace Hammett as Tasman's new assistant NPC rugby coach

Leo Crowley is heading to Tasman as the Makos new assistant coach.
ANDY JACKSON/FAIRFAX NZ

Leo Crowley is heading to Tasman as the Makos new assistant coach.

Leo Crowley is the Tasman Makos' new assistant rugby coach.

Crowley is one of three new appointments confirmed by the Tasman Rugby Union and will be joined by former All Blacks prop Greg Somerville as Tasman's new set piece assistant coach and ex-Northland strength and conditioning coach James Holden.

Crowley, who is the younger brother of former All Blacks and Taranaki fullback Kieran Crowley, takes over the role vacated by Mark Hammett who decided to remain fulltime with the Highlanders' Super Rugby team.

Hammett originally signed a two-year deal with the Tasman union in 2015 when he joined head coach Leon MacDonald at the helm for Tasman's 2016 national provincial championship campaign. However, after a season as head coach of Japan's Sunwolves franchise in last year's Super Rugby competition, Hammett subsequently signed on as assistant coach at the Highlanders until 2019.

Crowley has an extensive coaching background which began as an assistant with the Taranaki senior representative team in 2010, a position he held through to 2015.

He linked up with his older brother as his assistant with Canada in 2013 prior to his appointment as the Chiefs' Super Rugby development coach in 2014. He was involved with Canada's 2015 Rugby World Cup campaign as attack coach, which included eight warm-up tests and four World Cup matches.

Crowley landed the assistant's role with the Melbourne Rebels Super Rugby team in 2016.

He'll join head coach MacDonald at Tasman on June 5.

Somerville played the last of his 66 tests for New Zealand in 2008, having also played 115 games for the Crusaders and another 16 for the Melbourne Rebels.

He was part of three successful Canterbury national provincial championship campaigns and won six Super Rugby titles with the Crusaders. He made 60 appearances for Canterbury and played 36 games for English club Gloucester between 2008-10.

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Somerville officially starts his new role next week.

Meanwhile, Holden is also well respected as a fitness coach, having filled numerous roles around the country and overseas.

Originally from Gisborne, Holden gained his Bachelor of Physical Education and graduate diploma in physical conditioning from Otago University.

He began his strength and conditioning internship within the Canterbury and Crusaders regimes and was head strength and conditioning coach with Christchurch's Belfast club.

He was involved with the New Zealand Barbarians secondary schools team and joined the Northland union as assistant strength and conditioning coach with both their academy and senior programmes.

Holden was also part of the Samoa Rugby Union's sevens programme and is expected to link up with Tasman within the next couple of weeks.

" and I are very happy with the appointments and believe we have made appointments that will assist both aspects of the business," Tasman chief executive Tony Lewis said in a statement.

"All appointments will have a role within the community game. I would like to acknowledge the assistance of Aaron Webb and Angus Gardiner [Crusaders] and Chris and Andrew Goodman who have all played a role in the process."

 - Stuff

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