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August 28, 2016 19:22

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07:38 19 January 2016

Rugby: Mauger to join Hammett, Tiatia on Sunwolves coaching staff

By Rich Freeman
TOKYO, Jan. 19, Kyodo

A day after Filo Tiatia announced he was joining Japan's new Super Rugby team, the Sunwolves, as forwards coach, it has emerged another former All Black is joining the team.

Nathan Mauger left New Zealand on Monday and told reporters he will be in charge of defense under head coach Mark Hammett.

"This is an exciting stepping stone for me in my coaching career," Mauger told Yahoo NZ.

"I think the expansion of the competition starting next month will be good for the new teams and countries. I look forward to being part of the build towards the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan."

"Japanese rugby and its profile is continuing to grow. By having a team in the Super competition will give greater exposure on a global scale and I'm looking forward to being part of this as we prepare for our first Super game against the South African Lions on Feb. 27."

Mauger, who helped coached the Canterbury Under-19s to the national title last season, played two games for the All Blacks in 2001 against Ireland's and Scotland's respective 'A' teams.

He played Super Rugby for the Crusaders from 1999-2004 and spent the 2005-2006 season playing in Japan with Ricoh Black Rams.

"The key focus in the initial stages is to put systems and structures in place with our Sunwolves players and help get them up to speed. This is a great opportunity and a big challenge but I believe the experience will really grow my coaching career," Mauger said.

==Kyodo

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