BREAKING. The Blues are about to appoint a head coach who is an ex All Black great; a winger even, is a popular figure, and has limited coaching experience. Does that sound familiar? And in this case his association with the region is non-existent.
The Blues is probably New Zealand’s best annual drama series, with the recent Kirwan Trilogy being particularly entertaining
The best episode of this era was the signing of Benji Marshall, and all the razzmatazz around that, which included not playing him in the previous season’s NPC so as to maximise intrigue for the following season, and drive up ticket demand.
What made it even more hilarious was that it happened at the expense of signing Beauden Barrett who was suffering at a Hurricanes outfit at their lowest ebb. You do not need to know much about Super Rugby to work out how that one went.
The prevailing theme here is style of substance; pick a coach on their profile, popularity, and playing record rather than anything of note on their CV. The idea being that it creates glamour in a competitive market; completely ignoring that the best way of drawing in the crowds is by winning and playing attractively. Crowds in Dunedin and Wellington over the next weeks prove that.
It is a waste of time pointing that out to those who are in charge of the franchise, as listening does not appear to be a strong suit. It was telling how it was Kirwan to fall on his sword. At least he did not have to deal with reporters camping outside his house, which was the appalling situation his predecessor had to deal with.
So what is Tana Umaga, so new in his coaching career, thinking? You can only suspect he is driven by a lot of ambition. Super Rugby head coach roles do not come around that often so perhaps he thought this was a good chance.
He has a huge challenge in front of him, the cattle is not good, the boardroom would appear to be a divided bunch of incompetent people, and he needs to find some assistants from somewhere.
At least the job probably pays well.