Joseph back to take another coach ride with Highlanders

Tue, Jul 9, 2024, 4:25 AM
by Reuters
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Jamie Joseph has been appointed head coach of the Highlanders for a second spell, with Clarke Dermody dropping down to an assistant coaching role for the Dunedin-based Super Rugby team.

Former All Blacks and Japan flanker Joseph coached the Highlanders to their only Super Rugby title in 2015, before taking charge of Japan the following year. He led Japan to the World Cup quarter-finals on home soil in 2019.

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The 54-year-old returned to the Highlanders last year as head of rugby, overseeing recruitment and mentoring Dermody, who took over as head coach in 2023.

"I'm delighted to be back coaching and leading the Highlanders again," Joseph said in a statement on Tuesday.

"I am keen to get stuck in with Clarke and the rest of my coaching team next season. 

"My goal is to take this team as far as it can go and to build a record of success that we can all be proud of."

The Highlanders finished sixth in this season's Super Rugby Pacific table, before losing to the ACT Brumbies in the quarter-finals.

"It's a change that Jamie discussed with me, and while I am very proud of what we achieved this season, I accept the view that it will be of benefit to the club to have his coaching influence on the team next year," Dermody said.

"From that perspective I believe it's a positive step, and I'm happy to support the move in the best interests of the club."

Highlanders chairman Peter Kean said the changes marked a step forward for the team.

"We believe these changes will take advantage of the unique skill sets that both Jamie and Clarke possess," Kean said.

"Jamie has a proven track record as a coach at international level, and that experience and knowledge will be hugely beneficial to the Highlanders."

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