In a surprise announcement today, Coventry was confirm' />

Tom Coventry and Peter Russell will be co-coaches of the Hawke's Bay rugby team next year.

In a surprise announcement today, Coventry was confirmed to continue as forwards coach, a role he has performed while acting as Russell's assistant over the past three seasons.

However, Hawke's Bay Rugby Union chief executive Mike Bishop said the pair would now work side-by-side.

"This has been instigated with the approval of both Peter and Tom and is a reflection of two things," Bishop said in a statement.

"The need to give Tom a boost in profile within his Magpies role and the fact the Peter is now spending part of the year involved in Super rugby (as Highlanders assistant coach)."

Hawke's Bay have reached the Air NZ Cup in each of the last three seasons.

" In some ways Tom has been the unsung hero of that success and hasn't necessarily received his just reward in the media for the part he has played in it," Bishop said.

- NZPA