Appointment welcome news

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South Canterbury rugby’s top boss has welcomed news that the province’s Barry Matthews is to be the new head coach of the New Zealand Heartland XV.
Newly appointed South Canterbury Rugby Football Union chief executive officer Craig Calder said the move was ‘‘very big news’’ for the district’s rugby community.
‘‘The South Canterbury Rugby Football Union are delighted that the New Zealand Rugby Union has recognised Barry’s in-depth coaching experience and onfield successes by appointing him as the New Zealand Heartland XV coach,’’ Mr Calder said.
‘‘It is just reward for a man that has served South Canterbury and Heartland rugby so well over the decades, both as a player and a coach.
‘‘This appointment is acknowledgement of Barry’s dedication, his excellent coaching skills and rugby knowledge.
‘‘ We wish him every success in this role and, of course, with the South Canterbury Heartland team, whose season kicks off on August 25, with a game against Buller.’’
Matthews will take up his first campaign with the national team and Poverty Bay head coach Mutu Ngarimu will return for a second season to assist.
Matthews said he was excited about coaching a team that contributed so much to rugby in New Zealand.
‘‘I love coaching at all levels of the game, but Heartland rugby is very special,’’ he said.
‘‘The standard of Heartland rugby goes from strength to strength every year and more and more players are being picked up for Mitre 10 Cup and Investec Super Rugby.
‘‘It shows how much talent we have in New Zealand.’’