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Bleyendaal To Join Leinster As Assistant Coach

Bleyendaal To Join Leinster As Assistant Coach

Tyler Bleyendaal was part of the Tonga coaching team when they played Ireland at the Rugby World Cup in France last year ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Tyler Bleyendaal will join Leinster Rugby as assistant coach ahead of the start of the 2024/25 season, replacing the departing Andrew Goodman, who has agreed to join Andy Farrell’s Ireland senior set-up.

Bleyendaal is no stranger to these shores having played 62 times with Munster before a persistent neck injury forced him into early retirement in May 2020.

Before joining Munster, the talented out-half had played 21 games for the Crusaders at senior level, and lined out 32 times for Canterbury.

Since retiring, the former New Zealand Under-20 captain has been part of the Hurricanes coaching team, initially under Jason Holland, and now under Clark Laidlaw.

The Hurricanes are currently top of the Super Rugby Pacific table, unbeaten after seven matches. Bleyendaal was also part of the Tonga coaching team at the Rugby World Cup in France last year.

Speaking to leinsterrugby.ie, Leinster head coach Leo Cullen said: “With Andrew taking up a position with the Ireland coaching group, we’ve had an opportunity not only to look at our own coaching structures here at Leinster but also to talk to a number of other coaches.

“Having gone through that process, we believe we are getting a really smart rugby mind in Tyler Bleyendaal.

“Tyler has been with the Hurricanes for the last few seasons and has been steadily growing as a coach – you can see that in the way they’re playing now, not just their results but specifically in terms of some of the stats around their attack.

“He’s someone who knows Ireland well and understands the rugby landscape here which is important, but ultimately, we are keen for him add to our environment and for us to learn from him, which is our approach with all new coaches.

“We wish Tyler well for the rest of the Super Rugby season and look forward to welcoming him and his family to Leinster during the summer.”

The 33-year-old Bleyendaal commented: “I’d like to thank Hurricanes CEO Avan Lee, Clark and the coaching team, as well as all of the players and staff involved at the Hurricanes, for a brilliant few years.

“I am very grateful for the opportunity they gave me as a young coach and the experiences we have shared together since then.

“The opportunity to test myself in another environment and in another competition was one that I was very keen to explore, and I’m equally grateful to Leo Cullen for the chance to continue my growth as a coach.

“I am looking forward to joining Leinster Rugby ahead of next season, and my family and I are very excited for the adventure ahead in a country that we hold dear.”