Glenn Moore to take charge of the Blues pack
Former Highlanders coach Glenn Moore will take charge of the Blues forward pack for the next two years.
Moore will join the Blues fulltime at the conclusion of the Heartland Championship - he is the current Mid Canterbury head coach - and replace All Blacks skills coach Mick Byrne, who stepped down at this end of last season.
Auckland-born Moore partners head coach Kirwan and assistant Grant Doorey in the coaching team with a back skills coach, who will fill Sir Graham Henry's void, to be appointed in the coming weeks.
Fairfax Media understands North Harbour coach Steve Jackson interviewed for the forwards role, while Northland coach and former All Blacks hooker Derren Witcombe is also believed to have applied. Set piece coach Nick White was also understood to have been in the mix.
Moore's last stint in Super Rugby was not successful. At the halfway point his final season he had a 24 per cent winning record. After an underwhelming three year term with the Highlanders (2007-2010) he was replaced by Jamie Joseph.
Kirwan said he was delighted to welcome Moore to the Blues.
"He was a standout candidate and he's exactly what we need at the Blues," Kirwan said.
"He's widely respected throughout rugby circles and brings a wealth of experience which is really important because we're losing a little bit of that. He's also incredibly passionate about the game and I think he'll bring a really hard edge to the forward pack."
Moore brings 14 years of professional coaching experience. The former Mid Canterbury loose forward coached North Otago from 2000-2005 and the New Zealand Divisional XV from 2003-2005.
He then became the Highlanders defence coach and Otago assistant coach in 2005, before being promoted to Highlanders assistant coach in 2006 and becoming head coach in 2007.
From 2010-2012, Moore was technical advisor for North Otago and he joined Mid Canterbury in 2013, leading them to a Championship title in his first year.
"I'm really excited about the opportunity to join the coaching staff at the Blues and get back to coaching at an elite level," Moore said.
"I was really impressed with JK's vision and passion for the franchise. That helped make it an easy decision to join the coaching team. I'm really looking forward to relocating up north and getting stuck in."