The Hurricanes have finalised their coaching group for 2024, adding former All Black and Hurricane #149 Bryn Evans to their ranks as Lineout and Kickoff Coach.
Evans will join Tyler Bleyendaal (Assistant Coach), Cory Jane (Assistant Coach), Jamie Mackintosh (Assistant Coach) and new Head Coach Clark Laidlaw, forming a powerful coaching unit rich in experience on and off the field.
Evans, who played for the Hurricanes 25 times between 2009-2011, only hung up the boots last season.
However, he has quickly found his feet in coaching, enjoying a productive season as Assistant Coach with Hawke’s Bay in this year’s NPC, and will no doubt add valuable insight into an area he specialised in as a player.
“I am massively excited and feel very privileged to be given an opportunity to coach, especially at a place where I loved to play and compete,” said Evans.
“The switch [to coaching] has been pretty good. Towards the back end of my playing career, I found myself running a lot of lineout sessions anyway which helped the coaches concentrate on other things. I really enjoyed teaching and showing the things I learnt on my rugby journey to others. The difference now is I don’t have to strap the boots on anymore, and if I do, it’s only to run the water.”
In what will be a bonus for Evans, he will get to coach alongside some familiar faces he played with throughout his career.
“I played with Jamie growing up, and I was at the Hurricanes with CJ (Cory Jane), so there’s that coming through the door and having guys you know already which has made it easier for me. But at the same time, you have Clark and Tyler, and everyone else here who has gone out of their way to make me feel welcome, so it’s been easy to get into work.”
Evans said he will look to lean on his fellow coaches in the upcoming season for more coaching wisdom and growth.
“I’ve made it a big part of my growth plan to look at the whole coaching group and use them throughout the season as people to learn from. I want to firstly connect and build relationships with the players, then we can work hard on delivering a set piece that suits the way we want to play the game.”
Laidlaw happily welcomed the new addition to the team, saying Evans will be a valuable asset to the coaching staff and the Hurricanes side.
“It’s great to have Hurricane #149 back here again. He was an amazing player, gaining a lot of experience throughout his career here, as well as in England and France. His expertise around the set piece will be vital and is going to benefit us greatly for the upcoming season.”
The Hurricanes have begun preseason training with most of their squad now assembled.
The squad will play two pre-season matches against the Highlanders in Queenstown on 9 February, and Moana Pasifika on 16 February at NZCIS (Wellington).