Hurricanes celebrate Vaea Fifita's try against the Lions. Photosport/Raghavan Venugopal/INPHO
Northern Exposure

Hurricanes coach Boyd to take charge of Northampton next season

The Super Rugby-winning coach will move to England in August on a three-year contract.

STRUGGLING NORTHAMPTON SAINTS have this afternoon announced a recruitment coup as Super Rugby-winning Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd has agreed a three-year contract with the Premiership club.

Boyd, 59, has been in charge of the free-flowing Wellington outfit since 2015 and won the southern hemisphere club title in 2016 with a rock solid defence complementing the Beauden Barrett-aided attack.

The Kiwi will move north to work with the Saints before the end of the upcoming Super Rugby season, with Northampton setting August as the beginning of his tenure as director of rugby.

Former Munster head coach Alan Gaffney will continue as interim coach until the end of the season having stepped in following the departure of the long-serving Jim Mallinder.

“I visited Franklin’s Gardens for a week in 2004 when Wayne Smith was head coach, and remember the passion of the Saints supporters and the strong culture at the Club,” said Boyd, who has also coached New Zealand U20s.

“Franklin’s Gardens is an excellent stadium with first-class facilities, and when John White and Mark Darbon outlined the vision for Saints, it was a project I very much wanted to be part of.

“The club’s ambitions match my own – I am confident I can help the Saints become one of the biggest and best teams in Europe.

“I have always aspired to coach in the Aviva Premiership and I am relishing the opportunity to work with this talented squad of players.”

Chris Boyd Photosport / Raghavan Venugopal/INPHO Photosport / Raghavan Venugopal/INPHO / Raghavan Venugopal/INPHO

In moving north after proving his credentials on New Zealand soil, Boyd follows in the footsteps of former Crusaders boss Todd Blackadder, now of Bath, and Chiefs mastermind Dave Rennie who is setting a searing pace in the Pro14 with Glasgow Warriors.

“We said at the start of the process that we were looking for a world class director of Rugby, and we’ve secured one of the very best,” says Saints CEO Mark Darbon.

Jamie Gibson and Stephen Myler dejected after the game James Crombie / INPHO James Crombie / INPHO / INPHO

“Chris’ CV speaks for itself; his achievements in Super Rugby are notable and his experience with the New Zealand age group sides is impressive. His track record of building a championship-winning side with a mix of experienced and young players was exactly what we were looking for.

“His teams play attacking rugby and Chris is well known as a deep thinker with an immense rugby brain who communicates well with his players. We look forward to him taking charge later this year.”

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