Hurricanes announce new Assistant Coaches for Super Rugby Aupiki

The Hurricanes have today announced that 2022 Manawatū Cyclones Head Coach, Fusi Feaunati and Director of Rugby at Te Awamutu Sports, Travis Church will complete the Hurricanes Poua coaching team ahead of the 2023 SKY Super Rugby Aupiki season. 

The experienced duo will take on assistant coaching roles, linking up with Head Coach, Victoria Grant, to provide valuable knowledge and guidance to the squad. 

Backs Coach, Feaunati, returns to the Poua for his second season. Well known for his work with the Manawatū contingent, guiding the Manawatū Cyclones in the Farah Palmer Cup for the past seven years, he said he was excited for the 2023 Super Rugby Aupiki season. 

“We’re really excited for the season ahead from the perspective of progressing what we set in place last year, to continue to grow and support our athletes in a high-performance setting.  

“The Club [Hurricanes] have been great in terms of embracing a ‘sister’ team and the alignment from a club perspective in uniting in our values is exciting to see. It all aids in enhancing the brand, the culture of the Club, and it’s an exciting time for our athletes and staff to be a part of that. 

“Interest in the women’s game is at an all-time high. The motivation is high for wahine to be involved in the game, and there are now legitimate pathways through to professional high-performance. From club to provincial rugby, and now Super Rugby, there are now more layers in the game which are providing more opportunities for women to grow in rugby.  

“After the high of the Rugby World Cup, our focus is now on how we can contribute to another peak point in women’s rugby, said Feaunati. 

After an extensive recruitment process, former NZU19 prop Travis Church joins the Poua as the teams’ Forwards Coach, focussing on set-piece and the breakdown. 

The current Director of Rugby at Te Awamutu Sports and former teammate of Hurricanes Set-Piece Coach Jamie MacIntosh, Church makes his first foray into Super Rugby, having previously spent time as a Black Ferns Hub Resource Coach and age group Rep Coach with Waikato Rugby. 

Church said: “I’m excited to be joining the Poua family and looking forward to working with the players and management in 2023. We have a lot of talent in the side and we’re looking forward to getting into our work in February.” 

Head Coach Victoria Grant said: “I’m really pleased with our coaching group. Fusi has a great connection with the players and knows how to get the best out of people, he was a part of our management team last year and has been a leader in the Hurricane's region for women's rugby. 

“Travis brings a fresh perspective with new and exciting ideas. He's a people person and is passionate about the dark arts of the front row,” said Grant.  
Hurricanes General Manager of Rugby, Tony Philp said: “Fusi brings a lot of experience and rugby knowledge to the coaching team. He is a calming influence and has a strong connection to this team and the women’s game.  

“Travis is an exciting and enthusiastic young forward's coach and is growing a real passion for the women’s game. He thinks differently and he is big on connection,” said Philp. 

Super Rugby Aupiki kicks off Saturday 25 February, with the Hurricanes Poua taking on the Chiefs Manawa in the competition opener at Levin Domain.   

Hurricanes Poua 2023 Management: 
Head Coach: Victoria Grant 
Assistant Coaches: Fusi Feanuati and Travis Church 
Team Manager: Belinda Muller 
Physiotherapist: Raylene Grant 
Team Doctor: Hoani MacFater 
Strength & Conditioning Coach: Luke Vasu 
Mindset Coach: Luke Rowe 
Performance Analyst: Matt Healey 

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