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Debut deferred for ‘excited’ Blues new boy Barrett



Debut deferred for ‘excited’ Blues new boy Barrett | SuperSport

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Super Rugby

Super Saturday vaccinations: 1000 Chiefs tickets up for grabs in Waikato



Sixty-six pop-up Covid-19 vaccination sites will be open across the Waikato DHB region, which includes King Country and Coromandel for Super Saturday.

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Photo: RNZ / Nate McKinnon

Anyone, over the age of 12 who hasn’t been vaccinated or had their first jab at least three-weeks ago is welcome to drop in and without a booking get vaccianted on the spot.

Within the Waikato DHB region, 78 percent of the eligible population have already received a first dose and 58 percent are fully vaccinated.

To encourage locals to visit a vaccination site the Chiefs Rugby Club have 1000 free tickets to give away to the Chiefs first 2022 Super Rugby Pacific home match at FMG Stadium Waikato.

People visiting a selected vaccination site will need to scan a Chiefs poster QR code and enter their details to be in to win.

Chiefs Rugby Club chief executive Michael Collins said the Club wanted to play their part in supporting the vaccination drive.

Waikato Univeristy is playing its part as well.

Located at The Don, a sports pavilion named after the University’s founding Vice-Chancellor Sir Don Llewellyn, a pop up will make Super Saturday accessible to residents in Silverdale and areas surrounding the campus.

Super Saturday at The Don will run from 10am to 2pm and is open for walk-in or drive through, with no booking required.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Neil Quigley said supporting the nationwide initiative is an important part of the University’s role in the community.

Waikato DHB Covid-19 vaccination programme lead Maree Munro said Super Saturday was a chance for the whole community to put their combined weight behind the vaccination effort.

“Getting higher numbers fully vaccinated is going to make a major difference in how we deal with Covid-19 in the community. It should reduce the need for lockdowns and give us more opportunity to get out and about. With summer coming up, when everyone wants to get out and socialise, we’re hoping for a big turnout.”

Across the different locations there will be free food, entertainment, spot prizes and more, plus the chance for people to do their bit to protect their community, whānau and themselves. Alert level 3 restrictions will be followed so people need to wear their masks and keep two metres apart from anyone outside their bubble.

Munro said Super Saturday in Waikato was also aimed at people who were unsure about being vaccinated. Each site would have health experts on hand to answer questions.

“There’ll be no hard sell, just plenty of answers so you have the accurate information you need to make up your own mind.”

She said there was a real buzz in the community around Super Saturday.

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New head coaching role helps develop long-time Crusaders assistant Jason Ryan



Junior Crusaders head coach Jason Ryan.

Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images

Junior Crusaders head coach Jason Ryan.

Jason Ryan had to think twice a couple of times the past week in his new role as Crusaders Junior XV head coach.

So accustomed to his roles as an assistant coach with the Crusaders and Fiji, he had to remind himself on a number of occasions to take a step back.

“I’ve got assistants here that you’ve got to let coach and not come in over. I’ve been in a few lanes, I’ve definitely crossed a few lanes this week, I know that,” Ryan said, laughing.

It’s his first head coaching role since quitting his old job eight years ago – he worked for a company which imported mining and drilling equipment – and was given an opportunity by then Canterbury coach Scott Robertson.

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Ryan has compiled a heck of a CV as a Canterbury, Crusaders and Fiji assistant since, most notably winning five straight Super Rugby titles, and four national provincial titles in five years with the red and blacks.

Always keen to further himself as a coach, Ryan jumped at the opportunity to coach the junior Crusaders when academy head Aaron Webb approached him.

Jason Ryan, right, helped the Crusaders win five-straight Super Rugby titles.

Joseph Johnson/Stuff

Jason Ryan, right, helped the Crusaders win five-straight Super Rugby titles.

“Why would you not do it?” Ryan said, before his team capped the week by beating their Highlanders counterparts 29-15 in Timaru on Friday.

Ryan only had four days to prepare the team – he selected a 26-man squad from schools in the Crusaders region – for their one and only game this year.

“It’s been really challenging actually, but it’s been a challenge I’ve really enjoyed. You’re trying to bring a whole lot of pieces together, you’re not on the whistle as much,” he said.

“Really proud of what we’ve achieved in terms of building connections. There’s a lot of different schools from around the place, we’ve worked really hard to try and connect everyone and give an experience that is enjoyable, and then explain what it’s like to be a good Crusader.”

Ryan packed plenty into the week, utilising current and former Crusaders, most notably franchise and All Blacks great Richie McCaw.

“He spoke to the boys about how quickly it can happen, going from a young man to a professional [player]. He was unbelievable. I’ve never heard a room so quiet.”

Current players Jack Goodhue, Sam Whitelock, Cullen Grace, Bryn Hall and Tom Christie also helped out, as did former All Blacks scrum guru Mike Cron, who held a coaching session alongside former Crusaders and All Blacks prop Owen Franks.

Former Crusaders fullback Israel Dagg featured, while Crusaders head coach Scott Robertson also fronted.

“He [Razor] was in there, he likes to come in and keep everyone sharp, loves turning up to a fitness test to have a look at the mindset,” Ryan said, adding the experience had refreshed him.

New Zealand Rugby

Rugby supporting Super Saturday national vaccination day.

“It’s been really good for my personal development, looking at things through a different lens. When you’re an assistant coach, you’ve got your own area, the forward pack, and I love that, to be fair.

“But I think it’s been good for me in the way that it’s just opened my eyes a little bit more around what goes into a campaign, even though it’s been short and sharp this week, we actually built up for a good month trying to get it together.”

With their only game in the bag, Ryan, who is contracted to the Crusaders until 2023, isn’t yet sure if he will continue as their head coach next year.

However, he is sure of a couple of other things, starting with the fact his experience will only make him a better coach, and that there are players in his squad worth keeping an eye on in the coming years.

“We’ve got some great boys here. There’s some future Crusaders here definitely, there’s some future All Blacks here, I’d say.”

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Fijian Drua confirm coaching panel ahead of Super Rugby Pacific 2022 season



Fijian Drua along with Moana Pasifika were handed unconditional licenses for the Super Rugby Pacific

Fijian Drua along with Moana Pasifika were handed unconditional licenses for the Super Rugby Pacific


Brad Harris and Glen Jackson have been added to the coaching panel of Fijian Drua as they look to build towards the 2022 season of Super Rugby Pacific.

Harris had worked as a forwards coach with Georgia and was the technical advisor of Fiji Drua during the National Rugby Championship where they clinched the title in 2018 and were the finalist in 2019.

He also held a similar role with Fiji Under 20 side in 2019 as they retained the Under 20 title and most recently was part of the Fiji 7s side as they finished the Gold Medalists in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Meanwhile, Jackson will also be the assistant coach of Drua and made over 200 appearances for Super Rugby side Chiefs and Saracens combined. He also officiated in 32 Tests and 88 Super Rugby matches and is currently associated with Flying Fijians as an assistant coach.

Apart from the duo, William Koong will join the club as Head Physiotherapist while Peceli Derederenalagi and Nico Andrade are named Team Manager and General Manager respectively.

“Glen Jackson is a familiar name for fans, given his background as a popular Super Rugby player with the Chiefs, English Premiership player with Saracens, as well as a highly distinguished referee with New Zealand Rugby,” said interim CEO Brian Thorburn.

“Brad Harris is also familiar to many players in our squad. He brings with him international coaching experience as well, being a former forwards coach for Georgia’s national side. His first hand knowledge and experience with our environment and many of our players will be extremely valuable for the squad.

“William Koong has been a valuable part of Fiji Rugby. He is an expert in his field with enormous experience and multiple achievements, which of course include looking after two Olympic gold-medal winning 7s teams.

“William has Super Rugby experience too, as the medical liaison for the four Super Rugby matches held in Fiji between 2016 and 2019. He has contributed immensely to Fiji Rugby over the years, and we cannot think of anyone better to look after our talented playing group.”

The club already announced Mick Byrne as the head coach and Nacani Cawanibuka as Head of Athletic Performance.

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