Richie Harris takes the reins of Coaching Development Manager

Counties Manukau Rugby has made a move that will leave a lasting impression on the province by securing Richie Harris as the Union’s new Coaching Development Manager.

The former Northland head coach is widely considered as the leading coaching developer in the country and will have a mandate to work with local coaches to improve their skillsets and ensure that there are pathways to the professional game.

He will also serve as assistant to Tai Lavea with the PIC Steelers, bringing some top-level experience to the coaching group.

“We are delighted to have secured Richie’s services,” said Counties Manukau Rugby chief executive Aaron Lawton.

“He is the best of the best when it comes to developing coaches and is going to have a huge role to play in helping develop our best coaches and provide them with the opportunity to get to the next level.

“He will provide Tai with first-hand experience of coaching at Mitre 10 Cup level. Experience is something that you can’t coach so to be able to add that to our mix will be hugely beneficial.

“But more importantly we see Richie’s ability to work with our local coaches and help them grow and identify opportunities for them at the representative level is something that will raise the overall standard of coaching in the province and the flow-on from that is massive.”

Lawton said long-term the vision was to provide the Union’s best up-and-coming coaches with pathways to coach at the representative level within Counties Manukau.

Harris, who coached Northland in 2015 and 2016, has been working as Auckland Rugby’s Coach Development Manager in the past couple of seasons.

As a South Auckland resident, he’s excited about his next career move and the prospect of working with the Union’s top club coaches.

“Counties Manukau is so laden with raw talent and I can’t wait to get to work with Tai and the team,” Harris said.

“I understand there are some really talented local coaches in place and I hope to be able to pass on some of my experience and knowledge of professional coaching to get the best out of them.”

Harris will start in the role on March 22.