The Ospreys today announced the appointment of one of the rugby world 'most respected figures in a bid to establish the region amongst Europe' rugby elite.
ANDREW HORE APPOINTED OSPREYS ELITE PERFORMANCE DIRECTOR
The Ospreys today announced the appointment of one of the rugby world's most respected figures in a bid to establish the region amongst Europe's rugby elite.
New Zealander, Andrew Hore, currently High Performance Manager for the NZRFU, has been appointed to the newly created role of Elite Performance Director. He will take up office in February 2008 after agreeing a three and a half year contract with Ospreys bosses.
Hore returns to Wales having previously held the post of WRU Director of Physical Conditioning between 2002 and 2005, where working alongside Steve Hansen, Scott Johnson and Mike Ruddock he was credited with producing the fittest Welsh side ever as Wales won their first Grand Slam in almost three decades. Prior to this, he was a key part of the coaching set-up that established Canterbury Crusaders as the number one side in his home country, working alongside internationally renowned coaches such as Wayne Smith, Robbie Deans and Hansen.
As Ospreys Elite Performance Director, Hore will have responsibility for all rugby operations at the region and will oversee a review of the current Ospreys set-up, from top to bottom, before planning and implementing structures that regional chiefs hope will help to establish them as one of Europe's top sides.
Mike Cuddy, Ospreys Managing Director, said:
"We are delighted to be able to confirm the appointment of Andrew Hore as the Ospreys first ever Elite Performance Director. I think that the appointment of an individual of such stature throughout the world of rugby is an enormous statement of intent from the Ospreys and is a clear demonstration of our intention to ensure the Ospreys a place at the top table of European rugby, not just today but in the long term.
"The Ospreys have now been operating for four and a half years, and over this time we have undoubtedly gone from strength to strength, but we felt that the time was right to look to strengthen the rugby side of our business even further. In Andrew, we have one of the most respected young rugby brains in the world, and he comes with a proven track record, both in his home country at Canterbury, and internationally with his work in the Welsh set-up, and also, in his current post where he has developed structures that will see the game in New Zealand continue to flourish.
"We felt that in order for us to achieve our long term aims, we needed to put rugby structures in place that would build on the excellent work already done by our coaching staff. Whilst we have extensive rugby experience within the organisation we felt that we needed to look outside of the existing structure at individuals who could add something different to the mix and Andrew certainly does that. He is right at the cutting edge of rugby thinking and will bring to the table a different outlook on how to do things with his experience of the domestic game in New Zealand and the international game, and this knowledge is something that we don't have at the moment."
Commenting on his appointment, Andrew Hore said:
"The Ospreys are one of the most forward thinking and ambitious outfits in the Northern hemisphere game and the opportunity to help them achieve their long term aims was too good to turn down. It was a difficult decision to step down from my role with the NZRFU but the challenge presented to me by the Ospreys is as exciting a challenge as there is in world rugby. The playing staff and facilities at the Ospreys are the envy of European rugby and I will work hard with the rest of the Ospreys team to ensure that we can help to deliver the long-term success that is so desired by everyone involved in the region.
"I know the area and many of the personnel at the region very well from my previous stint in Wales and that's certainly helped with my decision. I'm looking forward to returning to Wales in the New Year and taking up this exciting new challenge."
Mike Cuddy added:
"We are honest and frank enough to acknowledge that whilst the business and commercial acumen is in place within the Ospreys, we don't have the expert knowledge to take the rugby side of the business forward, we are after all businessmen. We've held our hands up and said that we don't have all the answers, and we have gone out and recruited someone who does have the ability to take us forward, someone with a breadth of rugby knowledge, the kind of which is simply not available from anyone in Wales at the moment.
"We want to be considered one of the top five teams in Europe, to be mentioned alongside the likes of Wasps, Leicester, Toulouse and Stade Francais when people talk about potential European Cup winners. We've made a good start to achieving this given our short history to date, with two Magners League titles to our credit, state-of-the-art training facilities and a stadium that is the envy of any team, and we have put together a competitive squad that can match anyone. Now we want to take the next step up the ladder, and this appointment is a vital ingredient towards doing so.
"Andrew will not be involved in on the field coaching, the position of Elite Performance Director is about an awful lot more than that that, it is about using Andrew's knowledge and his ability to manage and implement coaching structures, to develop players and coaches and to push the boundaries of rugby thinking. Initially he will concentrate on the regional squad, and then beyond that he will look at the Academy and relationships with the clubs across the region, to ensure that we have robust structures in place that will allow the Ospreys to grow.
"Andrew joins us on a four-year contract and is looking forward to working closely with Director of Rugby Kevin Hopkins, Head Coach Lyn Jones and his coaching team. Neither party is looking at this as a short-term appointment, we are building for long-term success on and off the field at the Ospreys, and we are confident that with Andrew on board, we will be able to achieve our aims of becoming one of Europe's leading rugby sides on a consistent basis."