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So'oialo joins Wellington coaching team

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 15/06/2017

Former All Blacks captain Rodney So'oialo has signed on as the Wellington Lions' new forwards coach.

The 62-Test loose forward will work under new head coach Chris Gibbes and assistant Andre Bell for this year's national provincial rugby championship.

So'oialo represented Wellington 64 times during his playing career, and says it's a privilege to be able to contribute as a coach.

"I'm looking forward to working with Chris and Andre and instilling some of the traditions and standards I valued during my time as a player," he said.

Samoa-born So'oialo made his Wellington debut against Taranaki in 2000, played 101 matches for the Hurricanes, and represented the All Blacks in 63 games, including five as captain.

In 2011, So'oialo signed for the Honda Heat in Japan, where he began his career in coaching.

His coaching education has since included stints with the Petone, Wellington and Tawa premier club sides, as well as Wellington under-16, under-18, Samoan and Development teams.

Gibbes said So'oialo would be a valuable asset for the province.

"Rodney's playing career speaks for itself and he holds a lot of mana in Wellington.

"We share a similar philosophy on how the game should be played and the standards we expect, and I can't wait to get stuck into the 2017 campaign."

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