Chris Wilton will keep his job as coach of the Horowhenua-Kāpiti Heartland rugby team, rising above a host of coaches from around the world that applied for the position.

The reappointment of Wilton, 48, was confirmed at the annual general meeting of the HKRU in Paraparaumu this week.

It was a sought-after position, judging by the number of applications for the post. Many of those that applied for the job were living overseas and were willing to relocate to the Horowhenua-Kāpiti region.

The interview panel cited Wilton's record over the past four years with the side and his passion for rugby and pride in the province as key factors in the decision to keep him on.

Horowhenua-Kapiti rugby coach Chris Wilton.
Horowhenua-Kapiti rugby coach Chris Wilton.

Wilton said he was happy to learn he was being kept on as head coach for the next two seasons.

"It's a relieving moment to be reappointed for two more years. Building on what the players and management team have achieved over the past four years is exciting," he said.

"I'm really looking forward to the challenge."

HKRU chief executive officer Corey Kennett said he was delighted with the decision to retain Wilton as it was recognition for what the team had acheived during his tenure.

"Chris really is the poster boy for coach development. He's coached just about every age grade team we have as well as the development team and had many successes with these teams," he said.

"What Chris achieved with the team in 2017 as our highest-ranked Horowhenua-Kāpiti Heartland team, and then winning the Lochore Cup in 2018 was special."

"We're excited to have Chris lead our Heartland team and management for the next two years."