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Leading Nz Coach Heads To Ospreylia

By - | 26/08/2008

Just weeks after Jonathan Humphreys and Andrew Millward jetted off to pick the brains of some of the southern hemisphere"€™s top rugby brains, the Ospreys today revealed details of an exciting new development that will see one of the leading coaches .....

Just weeks after Jonathan Humphreys and Andrew Millward jetted off to pick the brains of some of the southern hemisphere's top rugby brains, the Ospreys today revealed details of an exciting new development that will see one of the leading coaches in New Zealand rugby spend the next three weeks working with the region as part of its ongoing coaching development programme.

Waikato Chiefs Head Coach Ian Foster will arrive in Ospreylia today where he will work closely with Sean Holley and Jonathan Humphreys, as well as the other coaches at the region during the final build-up to, and the opening week of the new Magners League season.

Foster has held the top post at the Super 14 outfit since 2004 and under him the Chiefs have never finished lower than 7th place. Prior to taking charge of the Chiefs he was assistant coach and then head coach at Waikato in the NPC, and was Junior All Blacks coach between 2005 and 2007.

Ospreys Elite Performance Director Andrew Hore said:

"One of the things that we have put in place at the Ospreys over the summer is an ongoing professional development programme for all the players and coaches, as we want to develop a culture of continuous development, something which is essential if we want to achieve our aim of being the best. As part of this, two of our coaches spent a week in New Zealand recently where they were able to spend time meeting with some of that country's leading coaches, pick they brains and discover a bit more about a different rugby culture.

Following on from that, we are delighted to be able to invite a coach of Ian's stature and experience to spend time with us over the next few weeks, where he will be able to pass on some of his knowledge to our own coaching staff. We've identified Ian as someone who has expertise in the areas of technical and tactical application and development, and I know that having met with Jonathan and Andrew on their trip, Ian is excited about the prospect of coming here and working within our set-up over the next three weeks, and in particular, working with two exciting young coaches in Sean and Jonathan.

Over the last four years, Ian has done an outstanding job of changing a culture, bringing together a number of provinces together under one banner in difficult circumstances so there are clear parallels between his experience at the Chiefs and where we are at the Ospreys."

With the arrival of a leading Super 14 coach at the Liberty Stadium, albeit only for a three-week stint, there will be inevitable speculation around the appointment of a Head Coach at the region. However, Hore says that Foster will not be turning his temporary stay into a permanent one. He said:

"Ian is not in the frame for the Ospreys Head Coach, he is under contract with the NZRU and is not in consideration. His trip here is an agreed initiative between the Ospreys and the NZRU which will prove mutually beneficial, as not only will he be passing on his knowledge to our young coaches and assist with their development, but he will also get to experience a new rugby culture and get the rare opportunity to see for himself the day-to-day stresses of coaching in northern hemisphere rugby."

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