Rugby-Former ref Jackson set to take over as coach of Fijian Drua

  • Rugby
  • Monday, 20 May 2024

(Reuters) - Former test referee Glen Jackson will take over as coach of Fijian Drua on a three-year contract when Mick Byrne leaves at the end of the season for the Fiji national team job, the Super Rugby team said on Monday.

New Zealander Jackson played as a flyhalf for the Waikato Chiefs in Super Rugby and English club Saracens before retiring to take up the whistle in 2010.

The 48-year-old officiated in 32 tests and 88 Super Rugby matches before walking away from refereeing when he was not selected for the 2019 World Cup.

Jackson was an assistant coach for the Fiji team that reached the quarter-finals of last year's World Cup in France and has also been on Byrne's staff at the Drua since the club joined Super Rugby Pacific in 2022.

"Glen has wonderful ideas which will allow the Fijian Drua to have even greater success moving into the future," Drua chief executive Mark Evans said in a statement.

"His deep knowledge of the Fijian culture complemented by his insights and relationship with the players, staff and everyone in the club assures the continuity with Drua needs."

Byrne, a former Australian Rules player whose journey to rugby union coaching was even more unorthodox than Jackson's, will take over as Fiji coach at the end of the Super Rugby season.

The Drua made the playoffs in their second year of existence in 2023 and are in the running to repeat the feat this year with two more matches to play in the regular season.

"I'm very excited about the future to work with quality players and for the chance to develop leaders," Jackson said.

"I am committed to ensuring Fiji continues to make a stand in Super Rugby Pacific, grows the game and sets a platform for the next generation."

(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Christian Radnedge)

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