Mitre 10 Cup: Former All Black Cory Jane makes waves as Wellington assistant coach

Former All Black Corey Jane still has ball in hand, but he has added a whistle to his gear bag.

The 2011 World Cup winning winger did plenty of damage on attack during a stellar 15-year playing career, now he's making a name for himself as the Wellington Lions defensive coach.

"I don't think I tackled around the legs a day in my career," Jane told Newshub.

The switch from attack to defence came when a Lions coaching departure thrust Jane into the role.

The opening has given Jane a chance to show he is quite the deep thinker when it comes to rugby strategy.

"I tried to be a student of the game the whole way through, so I tried to watch what the flankers do, the halfbacks and all that kind of stuff," Jane said.

"I appreciate the game and not just an outside back or guy in my role."

Mitre 10 Cup: Former All Black Cory Jane makes waves as Wellington assistant coach
Mitre 10 Cup: Former All Black Cory Jane makes waves as Wellington assistant coach

Transferring the mental to the physical has been a challenge for the Wellington legend.

"At times it's frustrating because what's in your mind you need to find the best way to get it across to the lads," Jane said.

"Sometimes they don't get it but when the penny drops, that's rewarding."

Jane's quickly coming to grips with the added responsibility.

"As a player, if training finished at 3pm, at 3:01pm you'd bugger off out the door," Jane said.

"As a coach you go and debrief and look at training's and figure out what you could've done better."

His influence clearly isn't going unnoticed with Wellington holding the second best defensive side in the Mitre 10 Cup.

Jane's working towards a long-term future in coaching, but for now it's about wanting to help the players reach their goals before thinking about his own.

"It's about how do I get the best out of these players," Jane said.

"How do I grow them and how do I get them to the next level – as a coach that's what I'm all about."

Despite adding a coach's hat, Jane clearly still possesses a players-first mindset.

Newshub.

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