Top touch rugby coach calls for more support

By Eru Paranihi

A former touch coach for Australia and New Zealand, Clarke Puru says more support is needed for New Zealand coaches following a series of losses to Australia at this year's Youth Trans-Tasman series.

For every successful team, it all starts at the top.

Clarke Puru - Coach Counties-Manukau says, “We need to give more structure and more support to our coaching staff. Our coaches teach our players, but who teaches our coaches?"

According to Touch NZ, they do have programmes to develop provincial coaches through, despite having limited resources in the past.

George Jahnke - Coach Development, Touch NZ says, “A key focus for us now is empowering the provinces. Touch New Zealand is only strong as the provinces at the next level down, and then they can get through to about the lower end."

So the solution to avoiding heavy defeats to Australia, according to Puru, may rest outside of touch rugby.

Puru says, "Until our coaches can get a bit more education, and it doesn't have to be from touch. It can be, let’s put them in a Rugby Club, Super 17 team and see how those professionals work."

If the coaches are looked after from the top, then the younger players coming through will benefit. 

“All we need to do now is, we've got all this raw talent, we just need to give it a little bit of a structure so that they don't lose their way. Because once they got from 16's and they come here it's like hell. That's a massive jump. How do you control that? How do you help them?” says Puru.

The rest is up to Touch NZ and how well their programmes will bring through the coaches of tomorrow.