Highlanders coach Greg Cooper has signed a three-year contract to remain as coach of the Rebel Sport Super 12 franchise, the New Zealand Rugby Union announced today.
The move will see Cooper retain the role of coach up to and including the 2008 Super 14 competition.
The 40-year-old has been coach of the Highlanders for the last two years, was assistant coach in 2002-2003 and had previously been head coach, assistant and co-coach of the Otago Air New Zealand NPC side.
Cooper said he was keen to continue working with the Highlanders, especially with the new Super 14 competition kicking off next year.
‘It is a privilege to be again involved with the Highlanders and I look forward to building on the progress made over the past two years. There is much to do but I am excited about the challenge,’ he said
NZRU Deputy Chief Executive Steve Tew welcomed the news.
‘We are delighted to have retained the coaching services of Greg. He is a well-qualified coach and has made good progress with the Highlanders. We are very pleased with the standard of coaches we now have at the top level in New Zealand and Greg is part of that group,’ he said.
Highlanders and Otago RFU Chief Executive Russell Gray said the franchise was very pleased to have secured the services of Greg for a further three years.
‘This gives us the continuity in coaching we were looking for and will enable Greg to build upon the coaching systems and processes he has implemented to date.
‘He is developing very well as coach and we are extremely confident that he can achieve good results for the franchise over the next three years.’
Meanwhile, Steve Tew said applications for the Highlanders Assistant Coach position had closed and ‘the process was being progressed.’