Players & Staff at The Cornish Pirates...
It was announced late in April 2019 that Kiwi Chris had been appointed Director of Rugby for a three-year term, commencing on the 1st May.
Wellington born in 1962, Chris joined the Cornish Pirates from from Yorkshire Carnegie, where he had been their Director of Rugby since March 2018.
It was remembered, of course, that Chris first visited Cornwall for a seven weeks spell in the autumn of 2008, giving the Pirates advice on how the game had changed and was being played in the southern hemisphere under the ELVs.
His time in the Duchy was a positive one and having impressed it was announced in January 2009 that he had been appointed in the new role of High- Performance Manager, for the start of the following season.
With Chris at the helm the Pirates became the first ever winners of the British & Irish Cup in 2010, whilst in 2011 he also led them to a two-legged RFU Championship final against Worcester Warriors, which was lost by an aggregate score of 46-32.
Reluctantly departing the Pirates in April 2012, due to there being a lack of clarity at that time reference plans for the Stadium for Cornwall, Chris returned to New Zealand to take up a role as High Performance Talent Identification Manager for the New Zealand RFU. He later became General Manager High Performance at the Hurricanes before his move to Yorkshire Carnegie.
In his younger days Chris, a full-back/wing/centre, played over 250 Premier club games and represented Wellington B. He hung his boots up in 1995 and started coaching “to put something back into my club – Tawa.” After two years developing his coaching skills he was given the job of coaching the club’s Premier side, and in his first year at the helm they made the Premier club final for the first time in the club’s 71 years history.
After the birth of his youngest daughter, Chris decided to further pursue a career in coaching, and to test himself outside of his comfort zone by relocating with his family to the town of Westport in rural New Zealand. He spent the first three years coaching the White Star Old Boys club, where they won six of six Championships with the impressive record over the three years of P 54, W 52, L 1, D 1.
In 2005, Chris was appointed coach of the Buller provincial team in the NPC, when the semi-finals were reached for only the second time in the Province’s history. They were the toast of the town, but Chris felt it was now the time to return to Wellington and further develop his coaching career. He was employed by the Wainuiomata Rugby Club, which was at that time in the second division of Wellington club rugby and had been for 27 years. After one year of observation, a plan to move forward was hatched, with Chris’s wildest dreams coming true when they were promoted to first division that very year. One more year of coaching at Wainuiomata to develop both coaches and players cemented the club’s Premier status.
Chris was then approached by the Tawa club, which was logical, as he lived in Tawa, and during his first year the Hardham Cup was won with a very young team, which boded well for the future. Also, alongside his club commitments he had representative coaching roles with Wellington Colts, Wellington B and individual skill development with the Wellington Academy.
In conclusion, Chris is very proud of the fact that he has coached in many varying conditions and locations and has enjoyed considerable success in each. He also has a favourite applicable saying, which goes – “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.”
Yorkshire Carnegie, Hurricanes
What item can you not travel without when on an away trip?
If you could attend any sporting event in the world, what would it be?
RWC or Olympics
If you could be any other team mate for a week who would it be and why?
Jan Rendall, he has all the gadgets
Tell us something that the supporters may not already know about you?
I am extremely colour blind
Where is your favourite place in cornwall?
If you were not working in high performance sport what job/career would you like to do?