Boyd believes his new role at Highlanders can benefit Saints

Chris Boyd believes his new role as coaching mentor at the Highlanders can benefit Saints.

By Tom Vickers
Thursday, 28th July 2022, 5:02 pm
Updated Thursday, 28th July 2022, 5:05 pm
Chris Boyd
Chris Boyd

Boyd, who arrived at Northampton from the Hurricanes in 2018, left his role as Saints director of rugby this summer, with Phil Dowson stepping up to take charge.

But the Kiwi will still have a part to play at the Gardens as he will continue as technical coaching consultant despite moving back to New Zealand.

And he is now taking on a fresh challenge at the Dunedin-based Highlanders, drawing on his wealth of coaching experience to help guide new head coach, Clarke Dermody, and his coaching group in 2023.

Boyd is looking forward to imparting his knowledge and working alongside Clarke and his coaching group.

And he feels it can also work in favour of Saints.

“Clarke is a good man and an impressive coach with a willingness to learn,” Boyd said.

“There aren’t many people who understand the Highlanders' DNA better than Clarke, having played and coached for the club.

"My role will be about listening to the coaching group and working out where I can add value.

“I believe my relationships with the Highlanders and Northampton Saints will be mutually beneficial.

"With a foot in both hemispheres, I hope I can add value to both clubs by sharing best practice, exchanging ideas, and identifying new trends.”

Highlanders CEO Roger Clark believes the appointment of Boyd, who steered Saints to two top-four finishes in the Gallagher Premiership and a Premiership Rugby Cup triumph, is a good fit for the Highlanders.

“The teams that Chris has been involved with are known for their attacking ability and he is an excellent communicator at all levels," Clark said.

"His vast experience will be a great influence for Clarke and his coaching group.

"We are fortunate to have a coach of Chris Boyd’s stature to fill the role of coaching mentor which in the past has been done on an informal basis by another outstanding coach, Tony Gilbert."

Boyd’s CV is extensive, having coached at every level of the game from club to country.

Beginning with nearly a decade of coaching at Wellington club, Tawa, and then the Wellington NPC team which led on to an assistant’s role with the Durban-based South African ex-Super Rugby club, Sharks, in 2009/10.

In the years following his return to New Zealand he assisted the Tongan national team at the 2011 World Cup while also taking over the head coach role of Wellington NPC and the New Zealand Under-20s team.

In 2015 he became head coach of the Hurricanes and steered his team to the Super Rugby final but they ultimately lost to the Highlanders.

He continued his coaching success the following year and again guided the team to a final’s berth and this time succeeding and capturing a title for the Hurricanes.

He left for Saints in 2018 and still holds the record as the most successful coach at the Hurricanes.

And new Highlanders head coach Dermody is eager to engage with Boyd over the coming months.

Dermody said: “I knew from the moment I accepted the head coach role I wanted to surround myself with as many quality people as I could.

"In terms of quality, you don’t get much better than Chris.

"His experience and abilities are obvious in what he has already achieved in rugby, and I’m delighted he has come on board for 2023, to have his support in my first year as head coach of the Highlanders is outstanding.”