'A Highlander through and through' – Aaron Mauger stoked to secure NZ's most wanted coach, Tony Brown

With New Zealand's most wanted coach returning to his ranks for the 2020 season, Highlanders boss Aaron Mauger is looking forward to working with Tony Brown once again.

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Brown will return to his former Super Rugby side after success with Japan. Source: 1 NEWS

After a history-making stint with Japan as an assistant to Jamie Joseph, Brown returns to the Highlanders once again, having been both an assistant and head coach of the side in the past.

However, as the race to find the new All Blacks coach intensifies, Brown has become the subject of a coaching tug of war, multiple contenders wanting to secure his services in their quest to replace Steve Hansen.

Brown has since declared himself as part of Jamie Joseph's coaching team, with New Zealand Rugby's selection panel wanting candidates to apply with their whole support teams already chosen.

Speaking at this morning's Super Rugby launch this morning though, Mauger said that he was thrilled to have Brown returning to the Highlanders, albeit possibly in a limited capacity.

"We'll take it for as long as we can get him," Mauger said.

"[He's] a champion bloke, [we're] really excited to have him back in the environment.

"He's excited to be back as well, he's a Highlander through and through.

"I'm sure for however long we've got Browny, we'll get the best out of him. I'm sure he'll enjoy himself."

The Highlanders begin their Super Rugby season on February 7 against the Sharks in Dunedin.

Meanwhile outgoing New Zealand Rugby boss Steve Tew says that the All Blacks' new coach will be announced before Christmas.