Coaches re-appointed for 2022
Manawatū Rugby has reappointed Turbos and Cyclones head coaches Peter Russell and Fusi Fe’aunati.
The duo’s roles as head coaches of the union’s two flagship teams have been extended for one season.
Chief executive Andrea Jackson said she was pleased to have the accomplished coaches back on deck.
“Having Fusi and Pete back provides some continuity for our players,” she said. “We have put a big focus on the culture of our teams and our organisation and we are confident that we are heading in the right direction.
“The Cyclones provided a real high last season picking up the Championship title and the Turbos achieved a home semifinal for the first time since 2014 which provides an excellent platform for us.
“We are looking forward to both teams building on their performances this year. The best is yet to come.”
Fe’aunati will be in his sixth season at the helm of the Cyclones, the longest tenure in the team’s history.
The Cyclones are fresh off winning the Farah Palmer Cup Championship title in a dominant 2021 season including claiming the final 55-12.
Highlights during his tenure include making the Premiership semifinals in 2018, reaching the semifinals in the north-south formatted competition in 2020 and the 2021 title.
Fe’aunati said he was honoured to be back with the Cyclones.
“I am very grateful and privileged for another opportunity to continue working with our talented wahine in the Cyclones programme. I'm very excited to progress the connections and relationships with our stakeholders and communities, as well as supporting our roles as leaders in our wider societies.”
“2022 presents a massive opportunity to enhance the part the Cyclones play as members of the Manawatu Rugby Union whanau as one team.
For Russell, 2021 will be his fourth season as coach of the Turbos.
Highlights have included an away semifinal in 2019 and a home semifinal in 2021.
“I am very pleased to have re-signed with Manawatu Rugby and continue the development of this proud province,” he said. “2021 was a challenging but rewarding year for us. With a quality showing through the NPC in 2021 and further reward for a high number of players involved in Super Rugby.”
“I’m looking forward to continue the growth and success on and off the field.”
Twelve Cyclones players and eight Turbos will be involved in Super Rugby competitions this year with a host of others involved in preparations as injury covers.
Assistant coach and manager positions for both the Turbos and Cyclones will be advertised next month.