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    Blues set to make coaching decision

    2018-04-25 13:37

    Cape Town - The Blues are set to make a decision on their Super Rugby coaching set-up within the next few weeks rather than in a month or two. 

    That was the message from Blues chief executive Michael Redman on Tuesday in Auckland. 

    Redman said the side's run of losses made it harder to qualify for the play-offs and because of that speculation began to grow. 

    He said the appointment of head coach was a joint decision between the Blues board and New Zealand Rugby and they were moving through the considerations at the moment. 

    All of the Blues coaching group are off contract at the end of the season and the group was being looked at together. 

    "I think it's fair to say there's plenty of support for Tana (Umaga) within New Zealand Rugby and the Blues," Redman told the All Blacks' official website. 

    "We think he's got a great rugby brain, he has the respect of the players, he has my support and the support of the board so we'll work through a process to determine what the coaching group looks like. 

    "The head coach is the most important appointment we make but he is one of four or five, and I think getting the coaching group right, and the support around whoever the head coach is, is important." 

    Redman said Umaga was happy to continue in the role and was committed to the outcomes he had signed up for. 

    Talking to what was wrong with rugby in the Blues' set-up, Redman said the Blues were the fully professional end of a system, but for the Blues to be successful all parts of that system needed to work. 

    "What we can control is our environment, the quality of the people we bring into our environment, that's coaches and players, the resources and culture that we can have around them but in the end we haven't been able to deliver and changing coaches every cycle hasn't worked for the Blues previously," he added. 

    "I think our preferred option would be to try to work with the group we have but we have to make sure we get the shifts (in performance) as well." 

    Those 'shifts' were both on and off the field. 

    And so long as there were signs in growth in both areas then they were prepared to keep going, he said. 

    In making a change there was the likelihood that a new person would want to start again and the question is whether they have an appetite for that or do they keep going with those who have been at the coalface and to bank the institutional knowledge they have acquired. 

    Redman said the issues that had previously hindered the Blues with their constituent members, Auckland, North Harbour and Northland had been resolved and they now enjoyed an excellent relationship at all levels. 

    "We're making more progress than ever before in that space," he said. "I think those relationships are now one of our success stories." 

    There was an increasing ability to retain top young players within the region. There were still Blues region players doing well in other franchises but Redman said the question was were the Blues keeping the players they wanted and the answer to that was they were.

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