Blues recruit new skills coach

Date published: October 5 2016

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The Blues have completed their coaching staff for the 2017 season after signing Dave Ellis as their skills coach.

Ellis, from Putaruru, returns on the back of coaching at PRO12 champions Connacht in Ireland.

He ventured overseas when he was 22, playing rugby in several countries before moving into coaching initially in New Zealand and a number of contracts around the world specialising in skills development.

He was a member of the coaching staff at the International Rugby Academy in New Zealand for 11 years and was a resource coach for the New Zealand Rugby Union in that time. He worked with the Black Ferns, USA, the Investec Rugby Academy in South Africa, Hong Kong Rugby and with several clubs in Argentina.

Ellis was approached to join Connacht in Ireland three years ago, taking charge of skills coaching and player development.

Blues head coach Tana Umaga said Ellis stood out as the best candidate for an important role at the Blues and will make a welcome addition to the club.

Ellis completes the Blues coaching group that is led by Umaga who will take charge of attack, Alastair Rogers (defence), Steve Jackson (forwards), Kylie Wilson (mental skills) and Jason Price (strength and conditioning).

The full Blues team will be named in late October.

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