Chiefs Forwards Coach Neil Barnes has been appointed Yarrows Taranaki Bulls assistant coach for the 2020 season.

Neil will join the Yarrows Taranaki Bulls management at the completion of his Investec Super Rugby Aotearoa commitments.

The Taranaki dairy farmer will take the place of Craig Clarke, who is unavailable due to the revised Mitre 10 Cup start dates impacting his farm operations.

Tim Stuck will continue in his coaching role as well as balancing his commitments as deputy principal at Francis Douglas Memorial College.


Neil brings a wealth of coaching experience having been involved in three Rugby World Cup campaigns with Canada (twice) and Fiji.

The New Plymouth Old Boys' product was looking forward to moving back to his home region and getting acquainted with the environment.

"I'm quite excited about the opportunity to come back and work with Yarrows Taranaki Bulls.

"While it was an absolute treat coaching international footy with Fiji outside the Super window, it's been non-stop rugby for three years, so coming back home to live on the farm allows me to get a bit of balance to my life and work with a team I love. It will be a treat and I am looking forward to it."

Yarrows Taranaki Bulls head coach Willie Rickards says he was excited to have Neil join the coaching group.

"Barnsey is a world-class coach, but more importantly, he is a great man, he will add significant value to our team and organisation."

Taranaki Rugby Football Union chief executive officer Laurence Corlett says it is extremely pleasing to secure a coach of Neil's talents ahead of the campaign.

"It's fantastic that Neil has agreed to be part of the Taranaki Rugby Football Union again. He is a proud Taranaki man, and we are fortunate to have someone of his ability involved on and off the field."


Chiefs Rugby Club chief executive officer Mike Collins was excited to see Neil join the amber and black setup.

"It is great to have Neil return home to Taranaki to assist the Yarrows Taranaki Bulls with their 2020 campaign. Having our coaches working with our future players, coaches and/or support staff within the Chiefs' region is a huge benefit to our club.

"On behalf of the Chiefs Rugby Club we would like to wish the Taranaki Rugby Football Union and our other provincial unions in the Chiefs' region all the very best for the upcoming Mitre 10 and Farah Palmer Cups in 2020."