Barnes Recommits to Taranaki Bulls for the Next Two Seasons

Barnes Recommits to Taranaki Bulls for the Next Two Seasons

Neil Barnes has recommitted to Taranaki Rugby for the next two years announcing today he will lead the Yarrows Taranaki Bulls through to the end of 2024.  

“I’m rapt to be in a position to commit to coaching the Yarrows Taranaki Bulls for another two years,” Barnes said.

“People who know me, understand how passionate I am about growing rugby at all levels in our province, and hopefully, in the end, make us all proud.”

“Obviously, my number one focus is the Yarrows Taranaki Bulls, and winning the Bunnings NPC. We had a tough season last year, being hit incredibly hard with injuries, but those results won’t be sitting very well with any of our team, so we will be working hard to rectify that this year.”

The Taranaki Bulls Head Coach led his side to an unbeaten 10-0 Bunnings NPC season in his first year in charge last year before a rollercoaster 2022 campaign.

Barnes, a father of three, has a wealth of Taranaki club rugby knowledge, he secured seven titles with New Plymouth Old Boys between 1993-1998 and another in 2002.

The 1993 win was the first Senior A Championship title for the club since 1957. Barnes also represented the Yarrows Taranaki Bulls as a hard-working lock in 1986.

Barnes was the Assistant Coach for the Yarrows Taranaki Bulls from 2003 to 2007 and in 2009, in 2016 he joined the Chiefs Super Rugby environment where he spent six seasons working under Dave Rennie, Colin Cooper and Warren Gatland.

The Mangorei dairy farmer has also held several international positions having spent 2009-2015 as the Assistant Coach for Canada, as well as from 2017 to 2019 as the Fiji Assistant Coach and more recently an advisor position for the Italian national side.

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