The Bay of Plenty Rugby Union has congratulated Bay of Plenty Steamers head coach Clayton McMillan on his appointment as Maori All Blacks head coach.
Clayton, a Bay of Plenty Centurion, took the reins as coach of the Bay of Plenty Steamers in 2015 is also the director of high performance.
Earlier this year Clayton was appointed as the New Zealand Provincial Barbarians head coach for the DHL 2017 British and Irish Lions Series. Fielding a successful campaign it was evident he would be a prominent candidate if such a position arose.
He says the opportunity to lead the Maori All Blacks campaign and foster the development of Maori Rugby is an honour.
“The history and culture of the New Zealand Maori All Blacks is rich so it is an honour to be able to lead this. There is great opportunity for the growth and development of Maori rugby and I am excited for the challenges we face ahead and look forward to fostering its development.”
Bay of Plenty Rugby Union CEO Mike Rogers puts Clayton's selection down to his dedication and commitment to coaching.
“This is great recognition for Clayton. We are delighted for him and very proud. It is also a great outcome for Bay of Plenty Rugby to have the head coach of the Maori All Blacks leading our high performance program as well as the Steamers in the Mitre 10 Cup.
“Maori rugby is an important part of Bay of Plenty rugby and having the coach of the Maori All Blacks as part of our provincial union is very valuable as we look forward to further fostering the development and growth of Maori rugby as a part of our new strategic direction.”
Clayton, having played 113 games in the Bay of Plenty jersey, transitioned into coaching 15 years ago, while finishing up his playing day in Fukuoka, Japan. Since returning to New Zealand he has held several age group and club roles in both Bay of Plenty and Wellington before taking the reins for Bay of Plenty in the 2015 season.