Canterbury have confirmed the appointment of former New Zealand skipper Reuben Thorne and Mark Brown as the co-coaches for the 2020 season of Mitre 10 Cup.
Thorne has played for Canterbury 71 times between 1996 and 2008 and has also captained Super Rugby side Crusaders and New Zealand side after making 50 international appearances between 1999 and 2007. He has been part of Canterbury as forwards coach since 2018.
“This provincial union means a lot to me, and to be given the opportunity to step up to the role of head coach is an honour,” said Thorne.
“Consistency and cohesion in our group is important, and Mark and I are really aligned on our direction for the Mitre 10 Cup programme moving forward.
“We’ve coached together for a few years now so we know we collaborate well, and we were fortunate to learn a lot from Joe Maddock during his tenure as head coach, which was beneficial for the both of us. I’m looking forward to what is an exciting new challenge.”
Meanwhile, Brown has worked with Canterbury U19 squad and has been assistant forwards coach of the Mitre 10 Cup since 2017. Both Brown and Thorne will take up the role that has been vacant after the departure of Joe Maddock at the end of the 2019 season.
“The experience I’ve gained in this environment over the past few years has been invaluable, and it’s a privilege to be asked to lead a side that has such a proud history.
“There is a massive challenge ahead of us – provincial rugby gets more and more competitive every year – but it’s something Reuben and I will embrace and look forward to as planning for our 2020 campaign takes shape.
“For me personally, this is a fantastic opportunity to take the next step in my coaching career with a Canterbury side I’m incredibly proud to represent.”