Mauger appointed Highlanders head coach

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Highlanders have appointed Aaron Mauger as head coach on a three-year deal.

Former New Zealand centre Mauger was initially named as assistant head coach of the Dunedin-based franchise for the next two seasons in May.

Three months later Highlanders revealed that the 36-year-old will succeed Tony Brown, who left the club at the end of their Super Rugby campaign to assist Japan coach Jamie Joseph.

Mauger was sacked by Leicester Tigers just a few days after the Premiership side won the Anglo-Welsh Cup, having previously spent a spell on the coaching staff at Crusaders.

Mark Hammett, Clarke Dermody, and Jon Preston will work with Mauger for the 2018 campaign and Highlanders, beaten by Crusaders in the Super Rugby quarter-finals last month, are also in the market for another assistant head coach.

Mauger said: "I feel very honoured to join the Highlanders family and to lead the Highlanders as head coach.  

"The club has become a consistent performer at the top of the competition in recent years and we look forward to the challenge of growing our game and achieving great things as a club.

"The Highlanders have a solid foundation of good core values and a tight knit culture.  It's a credit to all those who have worked hard to establish an environment that allows people to express themselves and thrive as individuals.

"We have a strong squad, a quality group of coaches in Mark, Clarke and Jon as well as a very passionate management team and support staff - all of whom bring massive experience and quality to their respective roles.

"I am excited at the prospect of working with this team to help further the Highlanders and grow our connections with fans across the region, and around the globe.  We want to deliver a type of rugby that makes them all proud to wear our colours."