Fresh faces in new season's coaching ranks

STU PIDDINGTON
Last updated 05:00 15/03/2014
Colin Cameron
Fairfax NZ
NEW COACH: Colin Cameron has taken over the coaching reins of Harlequins.

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The senior South Canterbury club rugby sides will have a fresh look in 2014 when it comes to coaches.

With the season kicking off on March 29, six of the eight sides have new combinations with only last year's two Hamersley Cup finalists retaining the their head coaches.

Pleasant Point's Graham Sharp and Gavin Miller are the same combination while Celtic's Nigel Walsh has added former South Canterbury first five Chris Gard to his team, along with incumbent Peni Latu.

There are five new combinations while one other has stepped up from the assistant to head coach role.

The will be big interest in the performance of Waimate's new combination.

Barry Matthews has accepted the role after surprisingly missing the South Canterbury Heartland job and brings a wealth of coaching experience, including with the Highlanders, to his old club.

Matthews will be joined by former Timaru Boys' High School first XV coach Grant McFarlane and William Guyton.

Temuka have recruited Dave Fisher, who took the TBHS first XV for the past two years, along with Stuart Corry.

Fisher will be hoping the Magpies can be more consistent.

Harlequins have gone back to the future, with Colin Cameron taking the reins.

Cameron has been involved several times in the past and he will be joined by Sam Robinson and Hayden Leonard.

Old Boys have appointed Paul Tree along with Amosa Anglem, after Paul Annear had tried desperately to get them out of the doldrums over the past three years.

Tree formerly took their B side, while Anglem played for Harlequins before switching to league with the Timaru Warriors for several seasons.

They will be the side trying hardest to avoid the wooden spoon again but Tree will have a big job on his hands.

In Mackenzie, Justin Geary has stepped to the head role and will be joined by Terry Murray.

Geraldine have managed to land a fresh face with Gerard Mackle.

He has plenty of experience playing and coaching, and will be joined by Aaron Coles and Kieran Blogg.

Mackle went to St Kevin's College before moving to Christchurch and then on to France, where he played for and coached a second division side in the late 1980s.

Last year he was coaching in Australia but decided to return to New Zealand and a friend made him aware of the opportunity in Geraldine.

Mackle said rugby had been his life, playing and then coaching, and he was looking forward to the opportunity in Geraldine, having moved there in the past fortnight.

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He also holds an advanced coaching certificate from the NZRU, which he completed in 1998.

With the season kicking off in a fortnight, most coaches have the base of their squads together but many are looking for one or two more players.

It seems likely that Celtic, who have won the title four times on the trot, will again be the side to beat.

Pleasant Point, who celebrate their 125th jubilee at Easter, along with a new-look Harlequins side, will again threaten.

Waimate will be hoping Matthews can bring some magic and they are likely to fight out a spot in the top four with Temuka unless one of the other new faces can weave some unexpected magic.

- The Timaru Herald

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