Moana Pasifika are pleased to announce the appointment of Toaigaotumua Tom Coventry and Stephen Jones to their coaching staff for 2024. The two world-class coaches bring a wealth of international experience to Moana Pasifika and are highly respected amongst the rugby fraternity.
Establishing himself as one of the top forwards coaches in New Zealand, Coventry is a three-time Super Rugby title holder with the Blues and the Chiefs. With a coaching résumé that also includes the Manu Samoa, New Zealand Schools, New Zealand U20s, and four years as Co-Head Coach of a then-ITM Cup winning Hawke’s Bay, Coventry has become renown for producing top talent and moulding cohesive forward packs that have been fundamental to their team’s success.
Born and raised in Waikato, Coventry made his start as the Head Coach of the Hamilton Boys 1st XV. On the field, Coventry was a potent flanker who earned 51 caps for Waikato in the NPC, which includes holding the Ranfurly Shield in 1993.
Coventry and recently appointed Head Coach Fa’alogo Tana Umaga have a trusted working relationship that has allowed them to collaborate both at the Blues and with Manu Samoa. Now with Moana Pasifika, the pair’s intertwined working relationship and comprehension will be a valuable resource for the team.
“His passion for the game and ability to pass on and educate players on our game of rugby is what we will need going forward with Moana Pasifika, especially with a lot of young and exciting forwards this season,” says Umaga.
Coventry is looking forward to a new coaching challenge in his well-established career, “This is a great opportunity for me and I’m grateful to be part of the Moana Pasifika organisation,” he says. “It’s exciting to be working with Tana as we commit ourselves to creating a very successful rugby franchise.”
He is focused on developing the third year team in a highly competitive Super Rugby Pacific competition. “Moana Pasifika are filled with extremely talented rugby players and I look forward to bringing out that potential and contributing to the team’s success.”
Moana Pasifika’s newly appointed Backs Coach is one of the best to ever put on a Welsh jersey. Earning over 100 caps for Wales, Stephen Jones’ accolades as a player include a Six Nations Championship, a Welsh Premier Division Title, a Celtic Division title and two tours with the British and Irish Lions.
Off the field, Jones has amounted a biography equal to his legacy on it. As the Backs and Attack Coach of Wales from 2019 to 2022, Jones helped lead his country to a Six Nations Title and Triple Crown in 2021.
The proud Welshman was an integral member of a coaching team that saw the Scarlets Clubnot only gain participation in Champions Cup Rugby, but also take out the PRO14 2016-2017 title.
Jones, a cherished symbol of Welsh rugby, gives Moana Pasifika a distinct offensive flair in 2024. Jones says that he is both honoured and enthused to be named as an assistant coach of Moana Pasifika. “I’m excited to join this organisation and I’m looking forward to the new challenges of the Super Rugby Pacific competition” says Jones. “I am excited to bring my perspective to the style of rugby played in the Pacific and the Southern Hemisphere and help the next crop of Pasifika talent flourish.”
Head Coach Fa’alogo Tana Umaga is excited to have a coach of Jones’ caliber and experience join Moana Pasifika. “He brings a different style of thought process to us as well as the necessary skillset for our attack and kicking strategy. He’ll also be able to develop our first five-eights and game drivers which is crucial for not only Moana Pasifika but Samoa and Tonga as well.”
Coventry and Jones complete the 2024 group of Assistant Coaches with Scrum Coach Pauliasi Manu and Skills Coach Damian Karauna continuing their tenure with the club under Fa’alogo Tana Umaga.
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