Kiwis shake up management
WITH their first international of the year against Ireland less than two months away, the All Blacks have shuffled their management team as they gear up for a hectic summer, writes Hugh Farrelly.
New Zealand face Ireland in New Plymouth on June 12, followed by two Tests against Wales and then go into the Tri Nations series, which does not conclude until they play Australia in Sydney on September 11.
And, despite a highly-successful European tour, the All Blacks have decided to change coaching responsibilities, announcing yesterday that head coach Graham Henry will have responsibility for attack play with Steve Hansen switching over to take charge of the forwards. Wayne Smith remains in control of defensive duties.
"People asked why have we changed the roles after such a successful tour. There's no point in going through this review process and not taking any notice of the information we're getting," added Henry.
"We think it's a way forward in improving what we're doing both for the team and as coaches."
Elsewhere, Saracens have signed Springbok loose-head prop Deon Carstens. The 30-year-old has made more than 80 appearances for the Super 14 side Sharks and played for South Africa against the Lions.