Bay of Plenty Rugby has wasted little time in the New Year in appointing the 2013 Steamers assistant coach to replace John Walters who resigned in December 2012 to return to Waikato.
Rodney Gibbs will be the assistant to Steamers head coach Kevin Schuler. Gibbs, who was in the Steamers' team that won the NPC second division in 2000, has worn the blue and gold of the Bay of Plenty with pride as a player and more recently in the coaching ranks.
Fifteen years in the Te Puke Sports premier side set the platform for a move to coaching Te Puke for three years. His passion to play rugby took him to Scotland and Wales to add to his impressive CV. Gibbs started his representative coaching apprenticeship with the Bay Colts before taking charge of the Bay of Plenty Development team.
"I am delighted to be part of the Steamers coaching set-up for the coming season as I have had a lifelong passion for Bay of Plenty rugby since I first laced on boots," Gibbs said.
"My belief is that it is hugely important to have a solid background in local rugby, which is particularly important in building relationships with the players, fellow coaches and administrators in the union."
Gibbs will also have specific responsibilities as a resource coach for age group and secondary school talent ID in the union.
"I see the identification of the young talent in the region as crucial to the continued success of Bay of Plenty Rugby," he said.
Chad Tuoro has also been appointed as the BOPRU coach and player development manager.
The former New Zealand sevens star brings a huge amount of rugby experience to his new role, which coupled with secondary school teaching and rugby development background, makes him the ideal person to deliver the development objectives.
Tuoro's role will be to facilitate the development of coaches from the small black programme to club and representative coaches. He will also lead the player development programme including player camps, rep team selection and talent ID, including the Bay women's sevens and fifteens programmes.
"I am very excited about my appointment to build a rugby programme that will produce further high quality players and coaches in the Bay of Plenty region," Tuoro said.
"I am proud to be from the Bay region and look forward to working with key community stakeholders to achieve a high level of success across all levels of the game in the Bay of Plenty."