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Mourie, Gilbert named as North v South coaches

Published: 5:31PM Friday May 11, 2012 Source: ONE Sport

  • Graham Mourie presents Daniel Carter with an award for reaching 100 games for the Crusaders  (Source: Photosport )
    Graham Mourie presents Daniel Carter with an award for reaching 100 games for the Crusaders - Source: Photosport

Former All Blacks captain Graham Mourie and former All Blacks Assistant Coach Tony Gilbert will coach the North and South teams respectively, the New Zealand Rugby Union confirmed today in unveiling details of the first North v South match in 17 years.

The match will be played at Dunedin's Forsyth Barr Stadum on Sunday 10 June in a city which hosted the last North v South match in 1995. The match will kick off at 2.05pm.

Former All Blacks captain and Hurricanes Coach and current NZRU Board Member, Graham Mourie, will coach the North team. He both played and captained the North in six appearances between 1976 and 1982 and will be assisted by former All Black and current North Harbour ITM Cup Coach Liam Barry.

Former Otago and Highlanders Coach and All Blacks Assistant Coach Tony Gilbert will take charge of the South team with former All Black and current Otago ITM Cup Coach Tony Brown as the Assistant Coach.

"We thank them for making a contribution to what will be a great celebration of rugby, as well as an acknowledgement of the support local fans have shown for their union during its recent difficulties," said NZRU Chief Executive Steve Tew.

He said the Sunday afternoon timing provided a great opportunity for fans of all ages to enjoy the festival style atmosphere which marked the traditional North-South match-ups in the past.

"We have taken the traditional concept and modernised it by having the players selected from Investec Super Rugby franchises which makes sense given the teams are already assembled."

Players will be drawn from Super Rugby teams and wider training groups. All Blacks will be unavailable given their commitments to the series against Ireland.

"We expect the coaches to use this opportunity to allow up and coming players to showcase their skills and the All Black selectors will have an eye on the match as they keep abreast of the depth of talent we have in this country," said Tew.

Steve Tew said the match was being staged in recognition of the backing the Dunedin City Council has given to the recovery package for the Otago Rugby Football Union. Dunedin City Council subsidiary Dunedin Venues Management Ltd (DVML) will be marketing the match and covering all costs.