Leo Crowley joined us this season as the assistant coach with the Makos. He’s from the ‘Naki where he coached provincial rugby and has also had Rugby World Cup coaching experience with Canada.
What is your core role in the Makos coaching set up?
My main role is around our defence system while I also oversee the forwards.
What most excites you about this Mitre 10 Cup season?
The competition is very even and I’m very excited to be with Tasman. We had a slower start that we were wanting, losing our opening 2 matches so now it comes down to belief in ourselves (it’s good to now be 2 – 2). While coaching against Tasman in the past, the Makos have always been a team that looked like they were having fun but played hard and fast. Now I understand why. Everyone here is very respectful of each other, and they take pride in including everyone into their Team Culture.
What is your background prior to joining TRU? (business / playing / coaching)
I had seven years with Taranaki before I had an overseas experience with Canada. The Canadian experience culminated in going to the Rugby World Cup as their attack coach. After that, I went to the Melbourne Rebels but unfortunately only lasted one season. The players and most of the staff were awesome. Unfortunately, however, the Head Coach was a ______. It was a great learning for me on how not to operate!
Tell us a bit about your personal life?
I have two children, Jared (26) and Ashleigh (23). My partner Tara lives in Canada. I’m very fortunate to have good staff on my dairy farm in Taranaki which allows me to follow my love of coaching rugby. Wider family and friends are a big part of my life and I really enjoy spending time with them.
Which rugby coaches, past and present, have most influenced your own approach to coaching and the game?
I started coaching when I was 28. I think when you first start coaching, you coach like “you were coached”, but after time you evolve into your own style. I’ve worked with plenty of good coaches and, once again, I’m lucky to be working with Leon, Goody and Yoda. As a coach of any team, the opportunity to learn is always there.