Rugby: Blair Baxter named new Canterbury Farah Palmer Cup coach

Canterbury players celebrate the 2018 Farah Cup final win
Canterbury players celebrate the 2018 Farah Cup final win Photo credit: Getty

An excited Blair Baxter has been appointed new head coach of Canterbury's Farah Palmer Cup champion side.

The 40-year-old has been a coach educator with the CRFU community rugby team since 2018 and before that was heavily involved in Sydenham Rugby Club. 

More recently, Baxter was assistant coach of the Canterbury U19 squad that won the Jock Hobbs Memorial National Tournament in 2019.

"There is a big challenge ahead of me and I am really excited to lead a programme of talented, high performing athletes in a provincial competition that goes from strength to strength," Baxter says of his appointment.

"2020 will present some additional challenges, as we all navigate the current environment amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but I know the side is really looking forward to the opportunities ahead of us and I can't wait to contribute to this team."

Canterbury Rugby chief executive Tony Smail says Baxter's coaching development has been rapid and he has earned the opportunity to mentor the best side in the country.

"We are delighted to offer Blair the opportunity to lead our high-performing Farah Palmer Cup team," Smail says.

"This team has a fantastic foundation and has achieved great success over the last few years, under head coaches Wayne Love and Kieran Kite. 

"We're also seeing pleasing numbers in terms of participation and growth in women’s rugby, so this was an important decision for the union.

"We were really impressed by Blair’s innovative thinking and his coaching philosophy, so we’re excited to support him as he takes this team forward."

Details of what the national women's competition will look like in 2020 are still being refined by NZ Rugby.