LONDON - England has become an ideal training ground for aspiring New Zealand rugby coaches, says former All Black Bernie McCahill.

Former England and Wasps assistant coach John Mitchell has just been appointed Chiefs coach, and McCahill believes Mitchell's apprenticeship in England played a big part in honing his skills.

McCahill flies back to New Zealand today after two years as assistant coach at Harlequins, and will become co-coach of the Marist senior team in Auckland.

"It's exactly six months since Mitch left England, and he would have found this a perfect coaching classroom environment," McCahill said. "He had a good grounding and his experience in England will certainly help the Chiefs.

"You don't get the results here that you would expect in New Zealand, but it comes down to resources.

"You are left scratching your head every week, scraping the barrel wondering how to motivate the players."

McCahill said Harlequins made a mistake more than a year ago by not giving coach Zinzan Brooke the players he wanted after the club finished fourth in the English premiership.

"Zinny was not given the resources after getting them up to fourth the previous year, which was incredible. This year they have a better side and they will do better in the second half of the season."

McCahill said Brooke had an immense understanding of the game and put it across clearly to players.



"His experience here will be enormously beneficial when he gets back to New Zealand. He will turn a good team into a great side. That's what he can do."

McCahill said he wanted to make coaching his career and would capitalise on the opportunities he had at Harlequins.

"I'm looking forward to getting back to my beloved Marist and giving young guys a belief in themselves."

- NZPA