NZMRL has announced that former NZ Warriors NRL Assistant coach and NZ Age Group coach Ricky Henry will take over the coaching reins of the NZ Māori rugby league side from Daryn Pirini.
Ricky Henry of Ngāpuhi and Ngāti Kahungunu heritage has been involved in Māori rugby league by attending national tournaments and following his son Carlos who has made the NZ Māori age group sides in recent seasons.
NZMRL Chairman John Devonshire said, “We’re delighted to have someone of Ricky’s calibre, he brings the modern game attributes to our side and being a former NRL player himself, knows the skill set required in the coaching position. Having toured several times with Ricky when he was a player, he handled himself with dignity and humility and was proud of his Māori heritage, he will go well”.
Kererua Savage will also be part of the coaching team. Kererua of Ngāti Tuwharetoa and Ngāti Awa ancestry has also worked tirelessly in the game, coaching the Victoria Hunters in the Wellington competition and played as a Māori rugby league representative himself.
Their first challenge will be against the Auckland representative team on Queens Birthday weekend in Rotorua.