This year the Wellington Development rugby team, and the Centurions team, will be amalgamated and known as the Wellington Centurions. This team is a development pathway for local club rugby players to reach higher honours by promoting themselves at a high-performance level, and gain experience by working more closely with the Wellington Lions structure. Along with the Wellington U19s, the Wellington Māori and Wellington Samoan teams, they form a solid club rugby development base.
Wellington Rugby are pleased to announce the coaching line-up for the Wellington Centurions 2021 season. Kent Harris will continue in his role as Head Coach. He took on the role in the Covid affected 2020 season, after two years as assistant coach, and is keen to get a more stable year of coaching and playing underway in 2021. He brings with him into the coaching frame Ryan Piper, Piri Weepu and Reggie Goodes, alongside Andrew Robinson as team manager. Harris said of his coaching team “While we have specific roles, we will work together across all areas, sharing our expertise. We work closely with Leo Crowley (Lions Head Coach) and it gives us all an opportunity to gain experience. It’s especially beneficial to the young club players who are performing well, and gets them ready for, hopefully, a Lions call up”.
Crowley is keen to work with this wider group to ensure they are match-ready and said “All players are closely monitored throughout the year. It’s a great base for future Lions players”.
The Wellington Centurions team and coaching staff all gain a better understanding of what is required at the professional rugby level from the experience of working more closely with the Lions structure. Harris said “We need to understand what the Lions are doing so that we can replicate this at the development level. It’s a massive growth opportunity for coaching team, being involved in the grooming grounds. I’m excited to see how we take charge of the future Wellington Lions players.”
The Wellington Centurions kick off their 7-week season with their first game on Saturday, 7th August, against Wairarapa Bush, in Masterton, and play through to late September with a game against their traditional rivals, Tasman.