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NZRU pays tribute to New Zealand Maori Coach Matt Te Pou

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allblacks.om     12 Jun 2005     allblacks.com

Te Pou announced his retirement from coaching following the New Zealand Maori match against the British & Irish Lions. He has been involved with the New Zealand Maori team for 11 years.

NZRU Deputy Chief Executive Steve Tew said Te Pou had made a significant contribution to New Zealand and Maori rugby during his tenure.

“Matt is one of this country’s longest serving coaches and he has helped strengthen and enhance Maori rugby at a national and international level,” Tew said.

“He is an astute coach who has earned the respect of players and administrators. We wish Matt the very best for the future,” he added.

Te Pou was appointed assistant coach of the New Zealand Maori team in 1994 and became head coach in 1995. During that time, he has built an outstanding record.

Under his guidance, the New Zealand Maori team has played 38 games with 33 wins and only five losses. A total of 26 of those wins were consecutive until the team was beaten in 2001 by the then world champions Australia.

“I’ve had an enjoyable and rewarding time with this team and it’s an honour to retire as a national team coach against the world’s best,” Te Pou said.

“At the same time, I am delighted that I was able to see some of the players turn out for the New Zealand Maori team and going on to represent the All Blacks. I have also been fortunate to be part of a side from the amateur days and seeing the game transform when it turned professional.

“This team has been part of my life for a long time and there is no doubt that I will take special memories with me from my time with them,” Te Pou added.