Pakistan gets New Zealand rugby coach


A New Zealand coach has joined the Pakistan Rugby Union fold to boost the progress of the game in the country. He will train the Pakistan team for its upcoming assignments like HSBC Asian 5-Nation Division III.

All Blacks coach Mike Pirrit was introduced Thursday to the media in a press conference. PRU president Fawzi Khawaja said that Mike was recommended by IRB Asia Regional Manager Jarrad Gallagher who thought he would be an ideal candidate for the job as head coach of the Pakistan team for the HSBC A5N tournament.

He said that Mike is in Pakistan for a two-month period and will travel with the team to Jakarta, Indonesia, where the HSBC A5N Div-III Tournament is to be held. Fawzi, welcoming Pirrit’s presence in Pakistan, said that he would be of immense help in improving the standard of rugby in the team. Mike reached here on May 18 and since then has been working with the team.

“Even though his main mandate is to work with the national side but he is also planning to give two IRB level coaching courses as well as work with the police, army and national under-20 teams,” he added.

Secretary PRU Arif Saeed said: “We have had tough time against the three participating teams, Guam, Indonesia and China so Pakistan will be under pressure to put up good show. We hope the arrival of a top class coach will motivate the team to try and win promotion back into Asian Division II.”

Arif further said: “We are very fortunate to get a coach like Mike Pirrit who is getting on really well with the boys. We are hopeful the long term stint with a coach will help take our rugby to the next level.”
Pirrit, while speaking on the occasion said: “I am impressed with the dedication and commitment shown to the game by the administration here. They are providing a culture that promotes unity, teamwork and a strong work ethic, which is very essential for the game. I am delighted to be working with the Pakistan team and am hopeful that if we prepare to the best of our ability we will perform well.”

Pakistan fulltime resident national coach Rizwan Malik who is working with Mike and will also be traveling to Indonesia with the team, said: “I think this maybe the best opportunity for the Pakistan team to move to the next division.

The professional approach with which Mike is extending, I am sure will benefit the team.” The HSBC A5N Div-III is being hosted in Jakarta; Indonesia and Guam and China are the other teams taking part in the event. PRU President also announced 30 players for training who will be shortlisted for the event.

They are: Abu Baker, Adnan Saeed Niazi, Aftab Ashraf Qureshi, Ahmed Mumtaz, Anwaar-Ul-Haq Zafar, Arsalan Zahid, Azmat Khan Niazi, Babar Muhammad , Billal Mehmood Butt, Kashif Khawaja, Kawar Asraf, Khalid Mahmood, Muhammad Ali, Muhammad Manan Naseem, Muhammad Yasir Fida, Romail Ashraf, Saad Arif, Sahir Aslam, Sair Riaz, Salman Majeed Wain, Sami Uddin, Shahbaz Munir, Shakeel Ahmed, Syed Xeeshan Rizvi, Taimur Zia Butt, Umer Islam, Umer Usman, Mansoor Rehan, Imad Nasir, Junaid  Imtiaz Malik and Amrez Hamid.