MARTY VERCOE – MANAGING VERY WELL

Marty Vercoe thoroughly enjoyed his recent trip to the UK as manager of the New Zealand 15 rugby team which played Ireland A and the Barbarians.

Marty Vercoe - Living The Rugby Dream

The former representative cricketer has made every post a winner since he took up managing rugby teams having managed the New Zealand under 20 team for several campaigns, the Tasman Mako when they rose to become New Zealand’s number one ranked province and he’s well established as manager of the Chiefs Super rugby team.

While most of the Chiefs employees including players are on leave now, Marty was tidying up a few loose ends at Chiefs headquarters in Hamilton on Monday when I spoke to him.

The Challenge ..47-19 win over Ireland A in Dublin

The 47-19 win over Ireland A in Dublin was the infield highlight and Marty said that result shocked the Irish a bit. However it was back down to earth the following weekend in London where a more experienced and street-wise Barbarians side, coached by Scott Robertson, edged them out 35-31

There is plenty of emerging talent in the New Zealand system and Marty said, without naming names, several shone on tour and will push for places in Ian Foster’s World Cup All Blacks team next year.

 

The Chiefs are in good shape too and boosted by the signing of Ireland prop John Ryan. Mercurial utility back Damien Mckenzie returns from a stint in Japan adding huge firepower to their attack and with All Black Anton Lienert-Brown fit again plus the experience of halfback Brad Webber and rising star outside back Shaun Stevenson the Hamilton based franchise should be an exciting watch.

Up front there’s experience and emerging stars. Lock Brodie Retallick, flanker Sam Cane and fellow All Blacks, lock Tupou Vaa’i and hooker Samisoni Taukei’aho and loose forward Luke Jacobson.

While the departure of Warren Gatland to coach Wales leaves a big gap in the coaching ranks, Marty is confident they have the crew to mount a successful campaign under head coach Clayton McMillan.

In the following interview I did with Marty he talks about his experience with the New Zealand 15 and the prospects of the Chiefs heading into next year’s Super rugby competition.

Interview & Story by John Alexander | Supporting Images sourced by Absolutely Famous.

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