Whānau time for Counties Coaches

By Eru Paranihi

Enjoying the festivities of the Christmas holidays, Counties Manukau rugby coaches Darryl Suasua and Davida White took time out of their commitments to spend it with friends and family over a ‘Umu’ at their Ramarama home.

For Suasua and White, who coach the Steelers men and the Heat respectively, today is all about family.

"It's about our whānau, about our tamariki our kids. It's a time when we get together and just let everything out." White says.

In years gone by, both have been involved with The Black Ferns with White being part of the team that won the inaugural title in 1998 alongside recently appointed New Zealand Rugby Union board member Dr. Farah Palmer. In that year, Suasua was also their coach.

While having a passion for rugby is what brought these two together, the days of playing, training and watching what you eat are things that the two will not miss. For White, who is a descendant of Ngāpuhi and Taranaki, it’s a different story today.

“We don’t play anymore. When I played, we used to go for a 10K run in the morning. So, I don’t have to do that anymore.” says White.

The next campaign for the Counties Manukau Rugby union will be the 2017 Bayleys National Sevens tournament. Last year, it was Sherwin Stowers who handed out the jerseys to both teams, with Suasua recalling what was said to the players during the presentation.

“His words were it’s the first Counties jersey to represent at the start of the year. So if they do well then the season will go well.  I think last the girls were semi-finalists and the boys won it.”

The tournament, which is a two-day affair, kicks off on Saturday, January 14th at Rotorua International Stadium