Wellington – Former All Blacks coach John Hart joined the Auckland Blues’ board on Thursday in the latest move by New Zealand Rugby (NZR) to turn around the struggling Super Rugby club’s fortunes.
Hart said he was keen to see the once-powerful team recapture former glories after failing to make the playoffs since 2011.
“I’m a passionate rugby man, I’m a passionate Aucklander and we’d all like to see the Blues do well,” he told Radio Sport.
Hart coached New Zealand from 1996-1999, with his tenure ending when the All Blacks were eliminated from the World Cup in a shock semi-final loss to France.
He has served on a number of company boards since then and said his job at the Blues was to “make it easier for management to perform”.
“I guess they (NZR) are hoping that I might be able to help the board in terms of governance and decision-making around the football team,” he said.
He did not believe he would be directly involved in on-field matters with Blues coach Tana Umaga.
“I’m going on as a board member to support the board, come up with strategies and support the management team,” he said.
“That’s my role and I don’t see it going beyond that at the moment.”
The Blues have given Umaga one more year to improve the team’s fortunes after recording just four wins in 2018 and finishing bottom of the New Zealand conference for the third straight year.
They have brought in the a pair of experienced assistants in Tom Coventry and Leon MacDonald to support Umaga in the 2019 season.