Hammett to leave Hurricanes at season’s end

Hurricanes coach Mark Hammett has revealed that the 2014 Super Rugby season will be his last in charge of the Wellington based franchise.

After four seasons in charge of the Hurricanes the franchise and New Zealand Rugby confirmed that he not be seeking reappointment beyond the 2014 Super Rugby season.

Hammett said he and the Hurricanes had chosen to confirm his decision at this stage of the season to allow the club to proceed with succession planning.

“This is a decision I have made after much discussion with my family. It has not been an easy decision, but we feel the time is right for me to step aside after this season.

“For now, my sole focus is on the Hurricanes and continuing the job at hand. I’m really proud of the contribution I have made to this team and the players over the past three seasons, and I will continue to remain dedicated and focused on achieving what we’ve set out to do this year,” he said.

Hammett informed the club, before the season kicked off, that he would be moving on after the 2014 season.

Hurricanes’ chief executive James Te Puni acknowledged Hammett’s contribution to the club and said he was 100 per cent confident in the head coach’s commitment to the team for the 2014 season.

“Mark has worked incredibly hard to create a strong and positive culture here at the Hurricanes.

“We are looking forward to the remainder of the season and will be in full support of Mark and the team as they focus on their performance.”

Hurricanes chairman Brian Roche said a recruitment process, in conjunction with New Zealand Rugby, would begin in the near future.

“While we will need to explore our future coaching options soon, we remain fully supportive of Mark and the team in keeping our sights on the 2014 priority to continue to lift performance.

“Everyone wants the Hurricanes to deliver performances we can all be proud of, and that’s where the focus lies.”

During Hammett’s time at the franchise, six Hurricanes have become All Blacks under his guidance, while 37 new players have pulled on the Hurricanes jersey.

New Zealand Rugby general manager professional rugby, Neil Sorensen, said he was saddened by Hammett’s decision, but understood and respected it.

“Hammer has been a total professional throughout all his dealings and engagements whether it be with players, fans, sponsors, and the rugby community. He has added great value to the Hurricanes and New Zealand Rugby environments; he is a man of integrity and is a coach the players don’t want to lose.”

Meanwhile Tana Umaga one of Hammett’s potential successor’s has ruled out the possibility of him taking over the franchise next year and has re-signed with Counties Manukau and he told Newstalk ZB family is keeping him in South Auckland.

“We’re pretty settled here. My family first and foremost probably, and that’s a major reason for me.

“Also – I hate to say it this way but I’ve met a lot of people who have become like family.”

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