Rugby

Sunwolves coach Tony Brown to return to Otago Highlanders

AFP-JIJI

Sunwolves coach Tony Brown announced Thursday he will return home to the Otago Highlanders as an assistant for the 2020 season following the demise of Japan’s Super Rugby side.

The New Zealander said he was looking forward to rejoining the South Island club where he spent much of his playing career and coached in 2017.

“As most people would know, the Highlanders are very special team to me and the opportunity to be involved again is too good to turn down,” he said.

“They are a great team to coach, they play positive footy and next year they have some exciting new talent coming through that I believe I can help develop to the next level.”

Brown was forced to begin looking for a new job after Super League governing body SANZAAR announced in March that it was axing the Sunwolves from Super Rugby at the end of the 2020 season for financial reasons.

He will work as an assistant at the Highlanders under head coach Aaron Mauger, although his exact role has not yet been finalized.

“His passion for our club and his rugby intellect will no doubt have a massive influence on our growth over the next few years and beyond,” Mauger said.

The Highlanders have endured an indifferent season this year, with five wins from 14 matches and will struggle to make the finals.