Patrick McKendry

Patrick McKendry is a rugby writer for the Herald.

Rugby: What now for Hammett?

Hurricanes coach Mark Hammett. Photo / Getty Images.
Hurricanes coach Mark Hammett. Photo / Getty Images.

In telling the Hurricanes before the season started that he didn't want to stay, Mark Hammett clearly feels he has taken them as far as he can, needs a change of scenery, or both.

The former All Blacks and Crusaders hooker has never coached overseas and that is his most likely option. Cardiff are understood to be on the lookout for a New Zealand Super Rugby coach, with Hammett and Highlanders coach Jamie Joseph understood to be in their sights. With Wales and Lions coach Warren Gatland, a former hooker, pulling the strings, Hammett might get the inside running.

After missing out on the Crusaders head coaching job to Todd Blackadder, Hammett was on the verge of leaving for the Melbourne Rebels before the NZRU, concerned at the potential loss of "intellectual property'' offered him the Hurricanes job following Colin Cooper's reign.

Controversy quickly followed. The clear-out of Andrew Hore, Ma'a Nonu and Piri Weepu made little difference in terms of results or consistency. This season, after a poor start, in terms of results, Hammett came under pressure like never before.

He will be glad to be in the position to make a fresh start elsewhere.

On the other side of the coin, who will take over in Wellington after Hammett? It seems significant that Peter Russell, the former Hawkes Bay coach and Highlanders assistant, announced his resignation from Newcastle recently.

We can expected more major announcements in the near future. With the European season entering its final stages, the coaching merry-go-round will start in earnest. Biarritz are understood to be negotiating with Canterbury coach Scott Robertson, Joseph is off contract at the end of the year and former Wallabies coach Robbie Deans still hasn't found a new job.

- APNZ

Stats provided by

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_a4 at 02 Oct 2014 14:28:43 Processing Time: 724ms