Waratahs

Waratahs’ Louden to coach in Japan

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NSW Waratahs’ attack coach Todd Louden will leave Australia after this year’s Super 14 season to become head coach of Japanese club Ricoh, reports said on Monday.


In signing with the Tokyo side for almost 600,000 dollars (552,000 US) a year over two seasons, Louden has knocked back a lucrative offer from an English club, and opted against applying for the Waratahs’ head coach job, The Sydney Morning Herald said.


Louden was touted as a favourite for the Waratahs’ position, to be vacated at the end of the Super 14 series next month by Ewen McKenzie, whose contract will not be renewed.


Reports have linked McKenzie with French Top 14 club Stade Francais.


The newspaper said the continuing uncertainty within the NSW Rugby administration over which direction it wants to take is understood to have put Louden off going after McKenzie’s job.


Louden’s agent Ben Williams said Louden’s decision to head to Japan was for financial and family reasons.


He said Louden preferred Japan because he will be closer to Australia, where he and his wife have family, than if they were to move to England.


“Financially, the opportunity is too good to be true for Todd and his family,” Williams told the Herald.


“And with the uncertainty back home, it is too hard for him to refuse such a good opportunity.” Louden will have former Wallaby flyhalf Stephen Larkham, a veteran of 102 Tests, on his player roster at Ricoh.


Louden joined NSW after one season as attack coach with the Bulls and was instrumental in helping the South Africans win their first Super 14 title last year.

Sapa-AFP – Super14.com

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