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Changes to Kiwis Assistant Coach

Changes to Kiwis Assistant Coach

The Kiwis have welcomed highly regarded Ben Gardiner as Assistant Coach for the Rugby League World Cup Campaign following the late withdrawal of Garth Brennan, who is now unavailable due to pending commitments in Australia.

Gardiner who has had recent success as the assistant coach of the New South Wales under 20’s and was credited with turning around the North Sydney Bears fortunes after taking on the head coach role mid-way through the 2015 season was a candidate that Kiwis Coach David Kidwell had been in regular contact with, ‘Ben and I have a long relationship, he’s a good man and will bring a real focus on our defence. He’s done an excellent job everywhere he’s been and I’m looking forward to his contribution to the Kiwis.’

Kidwell and Gardiner’s coaching relationship dates back to 2010 when the duo guided South Sydney Under 20s to the Grand final.

Kidwell wished Brennan well with the opportunity he now has in front of him “Obviously this highlights the calibre of the coach Garth is with other organisations also wanting his services, so as disappointed as we are not to have him on board, we’re really happy for him, and we are really happy to have Ben to join our team.’

“Thanks to all the forward planning we've done in regards to this World Cup campaign, Ben as already made a seamless transition into camp.'

Gardiner who’s been a full-time coach within the South Sydney coaching ranks for the past three years says, “It’s a privilege to be in the Kiwis and to contribute to improving the players and the team’s direction. I look forward to learning more about the New Zealand culture and adding my personality and determination to compete.’
“I’m an energetic coach and I’m looking forward to mixing that with the energy that’s already in the Kiwis squad.”

Gardiner has already become entrenched in the Kiwis camp having spent his first night with the team at Turangawaewae Marae.

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