PA Archive/PA Images Mauger stepped up to take charge of Leicester on a caretaker basis until he was sacked and replaced by Matt O'Connor.
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Aaron Mauger takes up Highlanders job after being sacked by Leicester

The former All Black playmaker has a three-year deal on his native south island.

FORMER ALL BLACK centre Aaron Mauger was appointed head coach of the Otago  Highlanders today, signing a three-year deal with the Dunedin-based Super Rugby side.

After a chronic back injury forced him to hang up his boots in 2010, Mauger worked as assistant and attack coach with the Crusaders before joining the coaching team at Leicester Tigers under Richard Cockerill in 2015.

In March, less than three months after Cockerill’s departure, Mauger was sacked by Tigers with former Leinster boss Matt O’Connor returned to the hot seat.

Outgoing Highlanders coach Tony Brown was always on a one-year deal for 2017 and will now join Jamie Joseph as an assistant in the Japanese national team’s coaching set up.

Mauger, who played 45 times for New Zealand and 89 times for the Crusaders, said he was excited at the prospect of joining the Highlanders, who won the competition in 2015 and were quarter-finalists this year.

Aaron Smith Photosport / Martin Hunter/INPHO Aaron Smith is the star All Black in the Highlanders setup. Photosport / Martin Hunter/INPHO / Martin Hunter/INPHO

“The club has become a consistent performer at the top of the competition in recent years and we look forward to the challenge of growing our game and achieving great things,” he said.

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