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Dublin: 9 °C Friday 18 October, 2019

'I know I'll go back to coaching when the timing is right, but it's not now'

Former Leinster captain Isa Nacewa was a guest on the second episode of the Heineken Rugby Weekly.

FORMER LEINSTER CAPTAIN Isa Nacewa still harbours ambitions of pursuing a career in coaching, but having recently returned to Auckland with his young family, the 36-year-old is cognisant of waiting for the right time.

Nacewa pulled the curtain on his iconic playing career by helping Leinster to a famous double last season, and is making the transition out of the game as he settles into life back in New Zealand.

Isa Nacewa celebrates with his daughters Nacewa with his daughters after helping Leinster to the Pro14 title last May. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Having eased into life after rugby with a commentary role during Sky Sports NZ’s Mitre 10 Cup coverage during the summer, Nacewa has since entered the workplace with a position in the financial services sector.

Appearing on this week’s episode of the Heineken Rugby Weekly on The42, Nacewa explained how he has found retirement ‘grand’ this time having previously called time on his career back in 2013 before returning to Leinster two seasons later.

“It wasn’t like it wasn’t good last time, I was just ready this time, mentally and obviously physically,” he explained.

“To Finish with Leinster by lifting the double, lifting two trophies with such good people around me, it was just my time, and I felt it, so retirement this time has been far easier and probably smoother.”

Nacewa was recently back in Dublin for his testimonial dinner in the Mansion House, as his former team-mates gathered to honour a player who drove standards at Leinster and a career which yielded four European Cup crowns and two Pro12/Pro14 titles.

“It was really strange, to be honest,” he said of being back. “I dropped down to training I think on Monday afternoon and it was like I hadn’t left because I was on the sideline not training which was standard for a Monday during my final year.

“Every single person there had been giving me the same amount of stick as they had been two months prior. It was really good to get down and see everyone, it really was, and it just felt like normal times. Everything felt strangely normal.

“I’m in contact with most of them [players] every week still, and I always hoped I would be. I’m still mates with, I still talk to a load of guys who weren’t even playing when I was still there. I’m in regular contact with Shane Jennings, Isaac Boss, Straussy in South Africa every week plus all the current squad, and I’m only a phone call away and I always hoped they knew that.

“I feel like I’m outside of it all now, which is just part of professional sport as it rolls on with or without you, but I was ready for that too, I think.”

Isa Nacewa lifts the trophy Nacewa left a huge legacy behind when he called time on an illustrious career. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

While Nacewa is embarking on the next chapter of his life with his wife, Simone, and four young daughters, Mia, Ellie, Lucy and Laura, he is enjoying a break from rugby and relishing the chance to spend more time with his family at weekends.

But his competitive edge, and passion for the game, means Nacewa is keen to further his coaching credentials in the future having briefly being involved in the Blues set-up during his first retirement in 2013.

“I know there will be a time,” he says of moving into coaching. “Whether that’s in six months, a year, two years, three years. I definitely know I’ll go back to coaching when the timing is right, but it’s not now.

“We’re purely still settling into New Zealand. It’s going to take a while to get used to things. I’ll definitely coach down the line, it’s just something I want to stick my teeth into when the time is right.

“I guess I still have a competitive edge and I like getting the best out of players.”

You can listen to the full interview with Isa Nacewa below: 

Source: Heineken Rugby Weekly on The42/SoundCloud

Subscribe to our new podcast, Heineken Rugby Weekly on The42, here:

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Ryan Bailey

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