Rugby: Former Magpies Central coaches

By Shane Hurndell


World champions and former Hawke's Bay Magpies rugby teammates Rob Evans and Tafai Ioasa will coach the Central premier rugby team next year.

Head coach Evans and assistant coach Ioasa will replace Tony Mackie who was the head coach for the past two seasons. Evans and Ioasa assisted Mackie this year.

Former Central lock Evans, 33, was a member of the world title-winning New Zealand under-19 team in 1999. Current All Blacks Richie McCaw and Tony Woodcock were in the same side which included future Magpies in Daniel Quate, Rangi Vallance, Clint Newland, Campbell Johnstone and Jason Shoemark.

Napier Boys' High School product Joe Ward captained the team which had a future Magpies coach, Mark Shaw, as the assistant coach.

A 2004 New Zealand Divisional team representative, Evans wanted to play this year but was forced to retire with concussion-related issues. He works as a farm manager for Watergreentourere Partnership at Flemington.

Former New Zealand Sevens captain Ioasa, 32, is a former Magpies flanker.

He was in the New Zealand Sevens team from 2001-08 and won several world titles as well as a Commonwealth Games Sevens gold medal.

He has been living in and out of Central Hawke's Bay with his wife Millie (whose family farms at Wanstead) for the last few years while also playing in Japan for the Fukuoka Sanix Blues team he joined in 20008.

Ioasa will return to Japan on November 19 but will be back in the Bay early next year to link up with Evans again.

Central Hawke's Bay Rugby and Sports Club chairman Nick Hume was thrilled to gain the services of Evans and Ioasa.

"As a club we feel their experience and youth will help them relate to the players, and the comments we've had back so far are that Rob and Tafai both understand players and the modern game," Hume said.

Hume was also full of praise for Mackie input in both the coaching of the team for the past two years and in getting Evans and Ioasa on board.

"Tony has been instrumental in getting both Rob and Tafai involved by encouraging them to help out in 2012, Tony has also coached both men when they were playing and Tafai at age grade level some 15 years ago.

"Both are just starting their coaching careers and they are keen to give something back to the district, which they both have ties to," Hume added.

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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