Leon MacDonald looking forward to 'challenge' of turning around battling Blues

The Blues confirmed today that former All Blacks fullback and Tasman Makos coach Leon MacDonald will join the Auckland Super Rugby side as an assistant coach in 2019.

MacDonald has been with Tasman for the last eight years in the NPC as both an assistant and head coach, and has a helped coach the New Zealand under 20s in the past.

The 40-year-old said he looks forward to trying to turn things around for the struggling Blues.

"I suppose that is part of the attraction, it's an exciting challenge for me," said MacDonald.

The Blues announced today that Umaga will stay on till the end of the 2019 Super Rugby season. Source: 1 NEWS

"Everyone can see there is talent in the group and good young players, it's a young group."

Working with the younger crop in the Auckland side's squad is something MacDonald is looking forward helping out with.

"I really enjoyed coaching the New Zealand under 20s and working with these younger players was brilliant.

"And there is a lot of these young guys coming through into Super Rugby, I just see a lot of opportunity and I am at that point of my career now where it’s time to really challenge myself and this is a great opportunity for me."

The former All Blacks fullback will link up with Tana Umaga next year to coach the Blues. Source: 1 NEWS


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'We have got to get it right' - Tana Umaga desperate for success after getting another season with struggling Blues

Blues coach Tana Umaga has been granted another year in charge of the Blues after the Auckland Super Rugby franchise made the announcement today.

Umaga is in his third year of being at the helm for the Blues and admitted the results haven't been what he expected.

"This is a result-driven industry that we are in, let's not get away from that, I understand that totally," said Umaga.

The Blues have only won three of 11 Super Rugby matches so far this year and haven't reached the Super Rugby play-offs under Umaga.

"Our results haven't been where we want them you know, the challenge that has brought Leon (MacDonald) here that is the challenge that brought me here.

The former All Blacks fullback will link up with Tana Umaga next year to coach the Blues. Source: 1 NEWS

"I want to make sure that I live up to that challenge, I have got 12 months to show that I have that ability and take the club to where we want it.

"And there is some continuity if that changes, I know that there is some time if it goes right and then there is an opportunity for me to stick around, but we have got to get it right."

The Blues announced today that former All Blacks fullback Leon MacDonald will join Umaga next season as an assistant.

The Blues take on competition leaders and defending champs the Crusaders at Eden Park in Auckland this Saturday.

The Blues announced today that Umaga will stay on till the end of the 2019 Super Rugby season. Source: 1 NEWS


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Tana Umaga to stay on as coach of the struggling Blues for another season after contract extended

Tana Umaga has extended his contract with the Blues, with the Auckland Super Rugby franchise announcing today that he will stay through to the end of the 2019 as head coach.

This year is the former All Blacks skipper's third season in charge,  with the Blues only managing to win three of 11 games so far this season.

"Changing coaches every cycle hasn't worked," Michael Redman said. Source: 1 NEWS

Blues chief executive Michael Redman said the board believes getting rid of Umaga is not the answer.

"The board believes there are positive improvements taking place at all levels at the club, and that Tana still has a contribution to make," said Redman.

"Changing head coach now would mean we throw out three years of hard-earned experience and starting again which we believe is the wrong thing to do.

"At the same time, the expected shifts in on-field performance are yet to be achieved and we are examining every aspect of team selection, preparation and support as our fans would expect"

Former All Blacks fullback Leon MacDonald has been confirmed as a new assistant for the Blues to help Umaga turn his side's fortunes around.

MacDonald is set to join the Blues after this year’s Mitre 10 Cup season, where he coaches the Tasman Makos.

"Changing coaches every cycle hasn't worked," Michael Redman said.
Source: 1 NEWS


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