New assistants have close links to Southland

Last updated 05:00 19/03/2014

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Hoani Macdonald and Clarke Dermody have been named as assistant coaches for the Stags 2014 national provincial championship campaign.

New director of coaching and Stags head coach Brad Mooar has called on the pair who both played more 50 games for the province and have stepped into the coaching ranks since finishing their playing days.

Macdonald was an assistant last year and is looking forward to continuing to work in the Stags setup.

''Derm and I have worked together on some of the technical aspects of the game over the past 18 months and I'm stoked that we will be able to build on this even further leading into ITM Cup,'' he said.

''Brad has bought some new ideas and a clear focus to the setup which is a positiven,'' Macdonald said.

Dermody, a former Stags captain and All Black, is working with the Highlanders scrum. He has also provided technical coaching advice to the Stags last season. 

Mooar said he was thrilled with the range of applicants and the final appointments.

''We had a great range of applicants which is a gauge of the passion people have for the Stags with several very good candidates putting there hand up. With the appointments we have made, I feel we have got a very good mix. Both guys bring a great deal of rugby experience and local knowledge to the table and I am extremely positive about things going forward.''

Mooar said several applicants who missed out on the Stags roles will be considered for other positions within the union's coaching programme.

''This process turned up some really good, keen people who we want to work closely with in our coaching circles to develop further.''

Meanwhile, Mike Mannix has been appointed Stags Manager for 2014 replacing Glenn Morrison, who stepped down. Mannix, who is Rugby Southland's Club Development Manager, is confident he can take on the additional responsibility.

''Community Rugby is obviously a massive focus of mine but August to October is a slightly quieter time of year and I am honoured and excited to be able to be part of the Stags setup.''

The medical team of Karl McDonald and Peter Finlayson have been reappointed. 

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