Thursday, March 29, 2007

USA Eagles name Peter Thorburn new Head Coach

May 1, 2006

USA Rugby release:


Thorburn Named Mens National Team Head Coach

BOULDER--Peter Thorburn, a name synonymous with the All Blacks both as a coach and selector, has been identified by USA Rugby interim Director of Rugby Alan Solomons, and has accepted the offer of Chairman Bob Latham and the USA Rugby Executive Committee to assume the role of interim men’s national team head coach.

Thorburn will be based in the Union’s Boulder office and will lead the U.S. through the Eagle’s Rugby World Cup qualifying fixtures.

“USA Rugby is fortunate to have secured the services of Peter Thorburn,” said Solomons. “He is well respected internationally, particularly in New Zealand and comes with ringing endorsements by both current All Blacks attack coach Wayne Smith and former All Blacks captain Wayne Shellford.”

Thorburn was most recently a New Zealand U-19 selector (2005-06) and a facilitator at Murray Mexteds IRANZ courses for international coaches and players (2004-06).

He coached the All Blacks Sevens squad to the 1989 Hong Kong Sevens title, sandwiched between runner-up finishes in 1988 and 1990. From 1987-1991 he coached various All Blacks trial teams including the Colts
(U-21) trials. From 1992-93 he was an All Black selector. He coached New Zealand A, beating England in two tests and coached New Zealand U-21, beating Australia. In 1993 he coached New Zealand A (beating West Samoa) and the New Zealand Divisional team to the Pacific Islands and the Sevens to Hong Kong and Edinburgh.

His success with New Zealand Rugby can be traced to North Harbour where he coached from 1985-91, winning two national titles and adding three runner-up finishes. He was the inaugural Provicial Coach when New Union formed by Split from Auckland in 1985. That year they won the New Zealand Third Provincial Championship during an unbeaten season. A year later they were runners up to Waikato NZ Second Division Championship and in 1987 won NZ Second Division Championship (with another unbeaten season) before being promoted to First Division. From 1988 to 1991 his teams finished fourth, third, sixth and third, respectively, in NPC First Division.

In 1997 he was brought back to successfully rebuild a Senior team when 16 of the 1996 squad retired or went overseas.

An All Blacks selector during 2000 and ?01, from 2002-03 he was the forwards coach at Bristol Premier Team from March-June 2002 then Director of Rugby and Head coach during the 2003 season.

He's also a sought after commentator on the game and is used widely by the New Zealand media.

Expected to arrive in the United States in time for the North American Four Series in May, his most immediate task will be contacting men’s national team players in the coming days.

"You couldn't get a more worldly, experienced or honest man," said All Black attacks coach Wayne Smith.

- USA Rugby -


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