Joseph and his Highlanders assistants split
Highlanders head coach Jamie Joseph has parted ways with assistants Simon Culhane and Kieran Keane.
After working alongside Joseph for the last two Super seasons Culhane and Keane, both former All Blacks, will not return to the Dunedin-based franchise next year.
Joseph, who only confirmed he had re-signed with the Highlanders late last month, is yet to name replacements. Culhane had operated as the team's backs coach, while Keane worked mainly as the technical adviser.
Culhane, who arrived at the Highlanders following a six-year tenure as Southland co-coach, said his decision to leave the Highlanders was for personal reasons. Commuting to Dunedin was a factor.
"There was the travelling from Invercargill to take into account and I was away from my family a lot - and I just wanted to be able to spend more time with them," Culhane said. "I have got a young fellow that is growing up now and the business [The Barn Company] I am involved in is also starting to take off and I wanted to spend more time with that."
Culhane might have reconsidered his decision if he didn't live in the deep south and said he had enjoyed working alongside Joseph.
"If I had been based in Dunedin I would probably have been fine. I loved it at the Highlanders, it was very good for my development as a coach and Jamie was really great to work with. "Hopefully they can kick on and be competition finalists."
Keane, the Tasman coach since 2010, is preparing his side for their Ranfurly Shield challenge against Taranaki on Saturday and could not be reached for comment.
When Joseph replaced former head coach Glenn Moore in 2010 he immediately revamped the support staff and replaced Peter Russell and Barry Matthews with Culhane and Keane.
The Highlanders have placed ninth and eighth in the last two seasons.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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